The United States and the United Kingdom have opened up negotiations over a free trade deal that both sides agree could help their economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Business leaders and advocacy groups are urging speed in cementing the pact. Strong investment ties and tariff-free trade greatly benefit both economies.
In 2018 alone, nearly $262 billion in goods and services were traded between the two economies, supporting 2.75 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
“U.S. firms have invested more than $750 billion in the U.K., and the American business community has a significant interest in ensuring the future stability and growth opportunities of the UK economy,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a document outlining recommendations for the negotiations.
Marjorie Chorlins, executive director of the chamber’s U.S.-U.K. Business Council said deepening trade and investment ties will allow both economies to demonstrate their leadership together and build on their shared strengths in services, the digital economy, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, the creative arts and other sectors.
Council members are working with negotiators from both sides to secure a “gold standard trade agreement that benefits workers, farmers, and citizens,” Chorlins said.
No deal puts companies at risk
No deal, meanwhile, could put businesses at risk. Particularly small- and medium-sized companies that may not survive a new round of punishing trade tariffs on top of the COVID-19 shutdowns, said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Arizona has much at stake in the ongoing negotiations, he said. In 2018,