Brexit Britain is set to sign trade deals covering 146 million Americans after forging agreements with individual US states.
President Joe Biden’s administration has shown little interest in an over-arching accord – but the UK has instead signed a series of “mini trade deals” on a state-by-state basis.
Deals have so far been agreed with six of the 50, with a combined GDP of more than £2trillion.
Talks are underway with another five, including California, Florida and Texas.
California alone, with 39 million people, has a population larger than many EU countries. Once confirmed, the deals will cover 40 per cent of the US population, roughly the same as France and Germany combined.
The most recent “Memo-randum of Understanding” was with Washington state, home to major businesses like Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft and Boeing, with a GDP roughly equivalent to Poland. It focused on the aerospace sector and other priority areas include clean energy, digital, life sciences, supply chain resilience, agriculture, and innovation.
Measures included ensuring British qualifications are recognised, and allowing firms to sell their services. Other deals have been signed with Utah, with a GDP equivalent to New Zealand, as well as Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
Along with Washington, they imported £5.1billion of British goods last year. It comes as trade figures showed UK exports reached a record high of £834billion last year. And Ministers believe the Government is on its way to hitting £1trillion of exports a year by the end of the decade.
Trade and Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “This new approach is making it quicker, easier, and cheaper for companies to sell British goods across the pond. These agreements give UK companies the best of both worlds – more market access at a federal level and stronger trade ties at a state level.
“Now we’re free to trade with the world on our own terms we can do even more business, create more jobs and boost our economy.”
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