THE FUTURE OF THE UK-US ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP

-Moving forward-


Published on 24th March 2017

British-American Busines Association (BABA) and British-American Business Council (BABC) speak for over 2000 UK and US-based companies on both sides of the Atlantic. Our membership includes leading British and American companies, contributing significantly to jobs, growth and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic.

We are committed to helping UK and US Governments with our expertise and transatlantic presence in their efforts to open a new chapter in the UK-US economic relationship; a relationship that is so crucial for the prosperity of our economies, companies and citizens.

Below are 10 areas that we see as a starting point for collaboration, which can help leaders strengthen this special relationship and shape objectives for the future:

1. Investment
The UK and the US share the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership. We encourage the UK and the US Government to make a joint commitment on investment, reflecting the largest bilateral investment relationship of one trillion dollars between the UK and the US and offering joint leadership to sustain open, inclusive and competitive markets as a basis for prosperity. As part of this commitment, the UK and the US should develop new approaches for a state-of-the-art dispute resolution mechanism. Further, the UK and the US should explore incentive schemes for bilateral investment and capital flows, particularly around public-private partnerships and with respect to government procurement opportunities.

2. Regulation
The UK and the US should continue exploring areas and sectors where the alignment of bilateral regulatory systems can lead to new business opportunities and reduce costs of unnecessary regulation. Future alignment should be around science based pursuit of norms that ensure balance and proportion between risk and precaution, while supporting innovation led approaches to deliver better outcomes in healthcare, consumer safety, environmental management and emerging technologies.

3. Research and Innovation
The UK and the US have world leading research and innovation systems, benefitting our economies and its citizens. We encourage leaders to develop a joint agreement that builds on the existing Horizon 2020 EU-US Agreement and enables further collaboration in science and research between UK and US scientists and researchers. The UK and US Governments should also explore increasing collaboration in higher education, particularly between our world-leading universities, which will allow for our countries to build on their joint leadership role and to draw on the great economic potential linked to it.

4. Financial Services
The UK and the US are home to the leading financial centres in the world. UK – US financial services offer deep pools of liquidity and agile product and service structures and share many common features including an overriding commitment to prudence over excessive risk taking. UK and US Governments should make a joint commitment to the UK-US financial services relationship that seeks to explore how UK and US markets can be integrated under one regulatory umbrella.

5. Talent Mobility
Attracting and employing skilled workers by drawing on an international pool of talented professionals is imperative in yielding a successful economy, particularly to address shortages of high-skilled labour. Our history of immigration and the role played by immigrants has been closely tied to the economic success of our nations. The UK and the US should therefore explore new visa arrangements for UK and US citizens to foster the bilateral movement of talent, with enhanced abilities to live, study and work.

6. Data
The free flow of data is more crucial than ever to companies operating across the Atlantic. Building on progress being made with the EU-US ‘Privacy Shield’ mechanism, the UK and the US should lead driving new pragmatic solutions that protect citizens’ privacy while allowing for the free flow of data. In any innovation economy, data is the heart and soul of growth. The pragmatism of the UK and the US can offer a path that is globally compelling for sustainable deployment of data driven technologies.

7. Services
The UK and the US economies are characterized by large and growing services sectors. The UK and the US should explore ways of enhancing trade in services, particularly in business services, which are key input for global values chains. The UK and the US should also explore ways to further enhance competition and encourage growth in the market for ICT and services.

8. A Rules-based System for Trade
The UK and the US have been leading in creating a global rules-based system for trade. The UK and the US should assess if and how both countries can help further develop global governance structures of trade, particularly through the World Trade organisation (WTO). With that, the UK and the US should commit their leadership role in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations.

9. A new Trade Policy
Both, the UK and the US benefit from trade, but trade also changes economic infrastructures. The UK and the US should be leading in developing a new trade policy that includes improved mechanisms, such as Trade Adjustment Assistance Programs, designed to help workers to adapt to global trade and protects public service obligations, while spurring innovation and growth for our economies.

10. Trade Outreach and Consultation
In light of future formal trade arrangements, the UK and the US should prepare trade education campaigns aimed to showcase the benefits of mutual trade and investment for our economies and its citizens. Governments should also use the opportunity to map out a future stakeholder consultation process on trade.