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UK-US Free Trade Agreement Negotiations Launch

Dear Friends in North Carolina,

We hope you and your family are safe and healthy and are managing as best as can be under these unprecedented times.

Today the UK’s International Trade Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, and the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, launched negotiations towards a UK-US Free Trade Agreement. This follows publication of the UK’s negotiating objectives on 2 March 2020. The joint statement by the United Kingdom and the United States can be found on gov.uk.

We believe that more trade is essential to overcome the unprecedented economic challenge posed by Covid-19 and that new free trade agreements are an important part of the long-term economic recovery.

This negotiation round will take place over the next two weeks. Negotiations will be carried out by video conference. We will continue to conduct talks remotely until it is safe to conduct talks in person. This common-sense approach to negotiations will ensure that talks can progress during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further rounds will take place approximately every six weeks.

The UK and the US are already each other’s biggest investors, creating high-skilled jobs and stimulating growth in our respective economies. UK Government analysis shows that a US trade deal could lead to a $19 billion increase in trade which will be mutually beneficial to the UK and the US, including individual States across the United States. A UK-US FTA will also aim to secure comprehensive, far-reaching and mutually beneficial tariff reductions.

I look forward to engaging with you throughout these negotiations. Our relationship with North Carolina is already starting from a strong place and we hope to build upon that foundation.  Please feel free to share this information with your members and let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Ryan Evans | Senior Trade Policy Adviser |British Consulate General