Services top list in US-UK trade deal

The Confederation of British Industry emphasises the “once-in-a-generation” opportunities of an extended trading relationship between the US and the UK.

The Confederation of British Industry emphasises the “once-in-a-generation” opportunities of an extended trading relationship between the US and the UK.
A post-Brexit deal between the US and UK would offer a "huge" opportunity to expand the trade in services between the two countries, particularly if the migration of skilled workers in the sector was made easier, according to the head of Britain's biggest business organisation.Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), told a meeting of the Atlantic Council in Washington, that any deal could only be successful if public trust in trade was rebuilt and trade was shown to increase investment, opportunities and prosperity in communities across both nations.“Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic recognise the significant political will and ambition to negotiate a free trade agreement between our two governments. This is very good news. Thousands of British firms see great opportunities to extend our trading relationship," she said.“But in trade deals, the substance really matters. Let’s set the bar high. Use these trade discussions to design global standards in areas like e-commerce, artificial intelligence and fintech, the regulation of autonomous vehicles.”
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CBI outlines areas of opportunity for US-UK trade deal

Dame Fairbairn described a potential US-UK trade deal as a once-in-a-generation opportunity that would not only drive transatlantic growth, but would tackle the realities of the modern global economy.Outlining three major areas of opportunity in a trade deal, she said, “We have spent the past year consulting our members on the opportunities they see in a US trade deal and they are very much about the modern economy.“First, services. There’s huge potential to expand services trade across the Atlantic, particularly through easing skilled migration. Second, small- and medium-sized enterprises. Simplifying customs procedures can make exporting far easier for smaller firms on both sides.“And third, state-level engagement. Many sectors stand to benefit from a closer relationship with individual states and vice versa, whether on procurement or recognition of professional qualifications."

UK negotiates free trade deal with Australia

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world on Thursday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrived in Canberra where he pledged to reach a "high priority" trade deal with Australia.“We've recommitted today to launching negotiations on an ambitious free trade agreement between our countries as soon possible,” Mr Raab said. “Australia would hopefully be part of that first wave of high-priority deals that we're pursuing.”Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she was confident Australia could strike a free trade deal with the UK. “We are at opposite ends of the world, yet we are very ready and able to grab a new era of opportunity for enhanced strategic and economic cooperation. We also look forward to an early, comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement because we both believe in rules-based markets for trade and investment,” she said.

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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