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UK Ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, on a visit to Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois in 2018. Photo: Argonne National Laboratory UK Ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch (second from right) on a visit to Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois in 2018. Photo: Argonne National Laboratory

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UK / US Post Brexit Agreement Signed
The Department for International Trade says the agreement will continue to "boost British trade with the US"

Published on February 15, 2019
US Government Press Release

The UK has signed two agreements with the United States which will prevent disruption in several key Transatlantic sectors. The agreements, which cover "telecom equipment, electro-magnetic compatibility for information and communications technology products, pharmaceutical good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections, and marine equipment", was signed yesterday (Feb 14) by UK Ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch, and the Deputy US Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney.

Announcing the agreement, the UK Department for International Trade issued a press release explaining that "The agreement will maintain all relevant aspects of the current EU-US MRA when the EU-US agreement ceases to apply to the UK. It helps facilitate goods trade between the two nations and means UK exporters can continue to ensure goods are compliant with technical regulations before they depart the UK, saving businesses time, money and resources. American exporters to the UK benefit in the same way."

The sectors which are covered by the agreement are said to involve UK-US trade worth up to £12.8 billion, with UK exports to the US worth £8.9 billion, more than a fifth of the total UK goods exported to the US.

Dr Liam Fox, the UK's International Trade Secretary, said that "The UK and the US are the strongest of trading partners and this agreement will allow British and American businesses to keep trading as freely as they do today, without additional bureaucracy ... Our top priority is ensuring continuity for businesses as we leave the European Union and we are signing other agreements in the days and weeks ahead. We look forward to sitting down at the negotiating table with the Americans after we leave the European Union to strike an ambitious new free trade agreement."

The US Press Release announcing the agreements also noted that "As part of the US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group, the United States and the United Kingdom are working to ensure commercial continuity for UK and US businesses, workers, and consumers as the UK leaves the EU. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress on October 16, 2018 of the Trump Administration's intent to enter into trade negotiations with the UK once it leaves the EU."

The announcement of these agreements continue to reaffirm the strength of the existing US-UK relationship, whilst also offering some promising possibilities for the future of the Special Relationship irrespective of events relating to the UK's relationship with the EU.

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