U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss announced today the beginning of a series of fast-tracked trade negotiations toward a new free trade agreement. In the foreground is a trade agreement between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. However, in the more strategic background context these negotiations create leverage for the U.K. in their post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
H/T: The Last Refuge
From the joint statement:
The US negotiating team will be led by Dan Mullaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East; and the UK negotiating team will be led by Oliver Griffiths, Director for US Negotiations at the Department for International Trade. Over 200 staff from U.S. and UK government agencies and departments are expected to take part in the negotiations.
An opening plenary today will kick off the detailed discussions, followed by multiple virtual meetings from Wednesday 6 May to Friday 15 May. The negotiations build on the work conducted through the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group, which was established in July 2017, partly to lay the ground work for these negotiations.
A comprehensive U.S.-UK trade agreement will further deepen the already very strong trade and investment ties between the United States and UK by creating new opportunities for American and UK families, workers, businesses and farmers through increased access to the other’s market.
The United States and the United Kingdom are the first and fifth largest economies in the world, respectively. Total two-way trade between the two countries is already worth about $269 billion a year. Each country is the other’s largest source of foreign direct investment, with about $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies. Every day, around one million Americans go to work for UK firms, while around one million Britons go to work for American firms.
Watch the opening remarks of trade negotiations below:
The U.S. & the UK are the first & fifth largest economies in the world, respectively.— USTR (@USTradeRep) May 5, 2020
A US-UK FTA is a priority for both countries & we share a commitment to secure an ambitious FTA that significantly boosts trade & investment.https://t.co/rkbODFWhYY pic.twitter.com/tcwxEJfe6Z
Positive virtual launch of 🇬🇧🇺🇲 trade negotiations with @USTradeRep.— Liz Truss (@trussliz) May 5, 2020
We are committed to securing a great deal for all parts of 🇬🇧.
Our teams will be working over the next two weeks to complete Round 1, when I will update Parliament. pic.twitter.com/6hW49cpWrq
A major thanks to @Nigel_Farage !!— Howell W. Woltz (@WoltzHowell) May 5, 2020
USTR Lighthizer and UK Trade Sec. Liz Truss start work on @realDonaldTrump US/UK trade deal TODAY!
Without this amazing gentlemen, England would have no chance at regaining its HERITAGE, its BORDERS or its GREATNESS.
🇺🇸reporter in🇵🇱 pic.twitter.com/RALPhhC88j