The International Trade Minister, Conor Burns, had a meeting with business leaders across Texas to analyze the advantages of the future UK-USA Trade Agreements, and also to promote British SMEs overseas.
Mr Burns has met the representatives of British businesses in the city and visited NASA to promote the UK aerospace industry. He also gave a speech to the students at Texas A&M University about how trading opportunities cannot be missed in both the UK and the USA.
The main topic was to strengthen the trade between the two countries, a trade which in 2018 resulted in a profit of $14bn, and also to raise awareness of the advantages of reducing non-tariff barriers for businesses.
Mr Burns declared: "Negotiating and signing a new ambitious free trade agreement with the US is one of the government's top priorities. I am delighted to be in the great state of Texas this week to demonstrate the opportunity of such a deal. If Texas were a country it would be the 10th largest economy in the world. A future trade agreement could help reduce barriers and bring benefits to thousands of small businesses by reducing costs while also strengthening sectors like manufacturing and professional and business services where we already enjoy a strong trading relationship. As we work towards the US-UK FTA there is much we can do at a State level to increase trade. In visiting the USA so soon after we left the EU I want to reinforce the message that we are entering a new phase of an internationalist global Britain."
New markets for SMEs in the USA will be unlocked, and the UK will negotiate a new UK-USA FTA(Free Trade Agreement). At the moment, the UK is the strongest single foreign investor in Texas. The trade between the UK and Texas was worth almost $14 billion in 2018, roughly twice as much as trade between the UK and Mexico.
86% of UK businesses exporting goods to the US are SMEs. A free trade agreement could remove tariffs, in particular for small and medium-sized businesses.
The UK aims to negotiate a complete free trade agreement with the US, which will decrease tariffs, encourage investment and offer SMEs the advantage of the trade opportunities generated, in new and increasing diverse markets across the US, including in Texas.
A good example in this way is H. Forman & Son, a smoked salmon producer, who are already taking advantage of US markets. The London based company has recently reached an agreement with HEB Central Supermarkets to supply its products in its chains across Texas. Lance Forman, owner of H. Forman & Son declared: "Following a DIT hosted export promotion dinner at Hampton Court which I was delighted to have been invited to, I met with one of the directors of HEB Texas supermarkets. My team and I followed up shortly after and since then we have developed a prestigious new customer in Texas. HEB Central Markets is a high-quality food retailer and we are pleased to have three of our products on their shelves across the state. Each month we are shipping our world-renowned London Cure Smoked Salmon, Gravadlax and our unique Gin & Tonic Smoked Salmon. Texans appear to be enjoying Forman's products as our sales continue to grow."
The government has launched a new international marketing campaign last week, to inspire and assure buyers and inward investors worldwide that the UK is ready to trade with them. The new Ready to Trade campaign has seen the billboard, newspaper and social-media adverts appear in signature locations across 18 cities, 13 countries, and airports around the world, including across the US.
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