The British International Trade Secretary has said there are “huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic” before her three-day visit to the US.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan will use her first official trip to the US this week, to New York and Washington, to bolster transatlantic trade and investment, the Department for International Trade said.
Ms Trevelyan will try to build on the recent lifting of the US ban on British beef and lamb to push for World Trade Organisation reform, closer trade ties with US states and a future free-trade agreement with the US, it said.
New research on the role of American-owned businesses in the UK, published by the department, suggested the US has been the UK’s largest single inwards investment partner country for the past two decades.
The department's analysis showed US-owned businesses supported 1.48 million UK jobs in 2019. It said that 60 per cent of these jobs were outside London and the South-East.
Wholesale and retail accounted for 29 per cent of UK employment in US-owned businesses in 2019, followed by 22 per cent in scientific, technical and IT activities.
“From Teesside to Tulsa, there are huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic," Ms Trevelyan said.
“Now is the time to hit the ground running and get on with boosting ties with our closest ally.”
During her visit, Ms Trevelyan will meet senior investors in New York, before travelling to DC on Tuesday for talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and members of Congress.
She is also expected to meet US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and attend a Women in Trade roundtable hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Trade minister Penny Mordaunt will also complete a multi-state visit of south eastern parts of the US and California, from December 5 to 16, to discuss areas for further co-operation including services, digital and agriculture.
“The government have long promised that a free-trade agreement with the United States would be top of the priority list. We are two years on from the general election and no deal is even in place," said shadow international trade secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds.
“The Secretary of State must use her visit to Washington to prioritise British jobs and industry and kickstart the negotiations.
“She must also – urgently – work with the US government to lift the damaging steel and aluminium tariffs imposed in 2018. The Conservatives have not taken this issue seriously enough. They must stop letting steel workers down.”