The UK has published its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement with the United States, and talks are expected to begin this month.
The agreement is expected to remove the trade barriers with the USA for the whole United Kingdom, including Scotland, the North East, and the Midlands. Manufacturers of ceramics, cars, food and drink, and professional services including architects and lawyers are among the industries expected to be the winners from tariff-free access to the US market.
The government analysis projects that there will be a £3.4 billion uplift in the UK economy, as the trade deal will increase transatlantic trade flows by £15.3 billion.
Digital trade will be also included in the agreement, to increase the opportunities for businesses to trade digitally across the Atlantic.
On the UK side, talks will be overseen by Crawford Falconer, DIT’s Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, formerly New Zealand’s Chief Negotiator and Ambassador to the WTO. He will be supported by a team of negotiators, drawing on expertise from across government and the private sector.
Negotiating rounds will alternate between the UK and the USA.
The government will also implement the negotiating objectives for Australia, Japan, and New Zealand shortly, as the aim is having 80 percent of total UK external trade covered by free trade agreements by 2022.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson declared: "We have the best negotiators in the business and of course, we’re going to drive a hard bargain to boost British industry. Trading Scottish smoked salmon for Stetson hats, we will deliver lower prices and more choice for our shoppers. Most importantly, this transatlantic trade deal will reflect the unique closeness of our two great nations."
Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, said: "Striking ambitious free trade agreements with our partners around the world is one of the key opportunities of Britain becoming an independent trading nation once again. This deal with our biggest single trading partner will cut red tape for our small businesses, cut tariffs for our great products from dairy to cars and increase growth in all four nations."
Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "FSB research shows that the United States is the number one individual country that UK small businesses are looking to as they consider where to trade, with 46% of UK SME exporters prioritizing the US market over the next three years. This shows the sheer scale of ambition that will be unleashed, if we can take full advantage of the opportunities a Free Trade Agreement will open up. As the FTA moves forward, we are working with the Department for International Trade to make sure SMEs are front of mind. The success of the UK economy rests on inspiring more small businesses to go global, and trade around the world."
The UK’s negotiating objectives are:
- Agree upon a comprehensive free trade agreement with the United States that strengthens the economic relationship, promoting increased goods and services trade and greater cross-border investment.
- Increase UK GDP by creating new opportunities for British businesses and investors, and providing greater choice and lower prices for British producers and consumers.
- Protect the UK’s freedom to provide public services, such as the National Health Service, in the national interest.
- Throughout the terms of the agreement, ensure high standards and protections for British consumers and workers. This will include upholding the UK’s high domestic standards on food safety and animal welfare.
- Futureproof the agreement in anticipation of rapid technological developments.
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