After Britain failed to sign a trade deal with the whole of the United States - as was originally planned - a trade deal has finally been signed with the state of Indiana. The trade deal is definitely a step in the right direction for the United Kingdom following years of political and economic upheaval with the European Union. The United Kingdom finally left the European Union on January 31st 2020; almost four years after the U.K. voted to leave the bloc. London is looking to expand ties with more U.S. states.
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According to Penny Mordaunt, the United Kingdom is working with about 20 states in order to secure individual trade deals, as Washington is not interested in a nation-wide trade deal, and has halted talks on the matter; the first eight states account for about 20% of the U.S. economy.
Annually, the United Kingdom purchases over $1.5 billion of goods and services from Indiana - this counts for 1% of the U.S. 's exports to the United Kingdom.
The United States of America’s trade agreements are normally signed at the national level; however, governments around the world have tried to sign better agreements at the state level.
Originally, the United Kingdom planned to sign a trade agreement with the United States at the national level because the U.K. viewed this as one of the biggest advantages of leaving the European Union. Unfortunately, this was only a viable option while the Trump administration was in office; the Biden administration is not so keen on a trade deal with the United Kingdom, and it has halted talks on the matter.
In the meantime,the United Kingdom has to settle with what it has and continue to work on the $260 billion trade deal - a third round of talks is scheduled for June. The United Kingdom is also pursuing post-Brexit trade talks with Mexico and Canada; which signify a shift in attention towards the pacific.
Nevertheless, times change and the United Kingdom will look to eventually sign a free trade agreement with the whole of the United States in the near future.
According to some U.S. legislators, who have to approve trade deals, there are issues to be addressed beforehand. For example, there cannot be a trade deal with Britain if it continues to scrap the trade rules with Northern Ireland which were agreed with the E.U. under the deal to leave the political union.
International Trade Minister for Indiana, Ranil Jayawardena said “It’s been fantastic to see the depth and breadth of interest from Indiana industry in trading with the United Kingdom.” He then went on to say “With the signing of this MoU, British businesses can capitalize on the great opportunities for collaboration in areas like innovation and manufacturing.”
Penny Mordaunt, U.K. Minister of State for International State has said “Our first state-level agreement of this kind is a major milestone for UK-US trade relations and I’m so excited for UK businesses, who can now start reaping the rewards of closer ties with Indiana.” She then proclaimed that “Our state-level strategy is paying off and this is just the first of many agreements we’ll be signing in the future as we look to bolster our £200bn trading relationship with the US.”
The CEO of British-American Business Duncan Edwards said “British-American Business, and our network of chapters and members, congratulates the British government and the State of Indiana on the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding which will encourage economic development and investment between the State and the UK.” The CEO then claimed that “There is a big opportunity here for the businesses of both markets, especially in the industries of the future, and initiatives like this MoU will help.”