United States

UK government issues consultation on bilateral agreement with the U.S.


On July 20, the UK government announced a consultation relating to a bilateral free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States. This represents another milestone as the UK pursues its exit from the European Union and prepares for a post-Brexit trade policy that would allow it to negotiate independently with its trading partners.

The consultation, initiated by the UK’s Department for International Trade, is open to the public, members of the business community and any interested parties that wish to provide input. This process will assist in framing future negotiations around this vital trading relationship.

The importance of the UK-U.S. trading relationship cannot be understated. The Unites States is the UK’s largest bilateral trading partner and largest single export market. It is also the UK’s second-largest single source of imports. This trading partnership is deeply rooted in the two nations’ shared history and cultural ties.

Clearly, there is incentive on both sides to negotiate a favorable trade agreement; however, the reality is that both countries have myriad trade priorities to juggle. There is a long road ahead before negotiations can begin, but this consultation is a step in the right direction.

The UK government has published an information pack  in conjunction with this consultation. This pack explains the rationale for free trade agreements, the provisions they typically cover, and it provides an overview of the current UK-U.S. trade and investment relationship.

The consultation will close at 23:59 on Oct. 26, 2018, and is located here.

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