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The UK's approach to trade negotiations with the US

On March 2, 2020, the UK Government published its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement with the United States, which represents the first major UK step towards an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement. The objectives can be found at gov.uk. Alongside these, the Government has also published the UK consultation response and a scoping assessment of the potential long-term impacts of an FTA.

The objectives published today show the UK’s desire to work with the US to remove barriers to trade and investment. Key areas where it sees potential are food and drink, advanced manufacturing and services such as financial services, professional and business services and transport services. The FTA is also an opportunity to set a new gold standard for digital trade and IP protection. With a focus on removing barriers to trade, UK analysis (as set out in the scoping assessment) shows an FTA would see an increase in annual bilateral trade between both countries.

Appointment of New British Ambassador to the United States
 
We are very pleased to announce that the UK Government has appointed a new British Ambassador to the United States, Dame Karen Pierce, who will become the first woman in this posting.
 
Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, currently Ambassador to the UN in New York and Permanent Representative at the UN Security Council, has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States of America, by HM The Queen, after the Prime Minister approved the successful candidate on the recommendation of the Foreign Secretary.
 
Karen Pierce is one of the UK’s most experienced senior diplomats and will be the first woman to serve as HM Ambassador to the US.
 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called her "an outstanding and accomplished diplomat", tweeting: "I can think of no better person to drive forward our hugely important relationship with the United States at this time."
 
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “It is a time of huge opportunity for the friendship between the UK and US and I am delighted that Karen Pierce will take forward this exciting new chapter in our relationship. We’re proud to be sending to Washington such an outstanding diplomat, and I warmly congratulate her on her appointment”.
 
Karen Pierce said “I am honoured to have been asked to represent the UK in the US. I think it is the UK’s single most important relationship. There is a deep bond between Britain and the US, built on many pillars. We have a fantastic cross-Government team across the US and I look forward to working with them to strengthen and even further deepen the special relationship between our two countries and peoples”
 
Karen Pierce has been the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York since March 2018. Prior to this role, Karen served as the Director General for Political Affairs and Chief Operating Officer of the Foreign and Commonwealth in London, from 2016.
 
Karen joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1981. Her first role was in Tokyo between 1984 and 1987, after which she returned to the UK to work in the Security Policy Department. Karen worked in Washington as the Private Secretary to the British Ambassador to the United States between 1992 and 1995.
 
Between 1996 and 2006, Karen held several positions in London including Team Leader for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, Deputy Head of Eastern Adriatic (Balkans) Department, Head of Newsroom, Head of EU Department (Bilateral) and concurrently Head of Afghanistan Political Military Unit after 9/11 before returning to the Balkans as Balkans Coordinator from 2002 to 2006.
 
In 2006, Karen moved to New York for the first time to be the Deputy Permanent Representative and Ambassador at the UK Mission to the UN. In 2009, she returned to London to become the Director of South Asia and Afghanistan Department and the UK’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2012, Karen started her second multilateral role, this time in Geneva, where she was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UK Mission to the United Nations, World Trade Organization and Other International Organisations until 2015. Between 2015 and 2016 Karen was the UK’s Ambassador to Afghanistan.
 

British Embassy Update - July - October 2019

July was a busy month for the UK, with the sixth meeting of the UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group taking place in London and the fourth meeting of the UK-US SME Dialogue taking place in Bristol.

The Trade & Investment Working Group meeting focused on strengthening the UK-US trade and investment relationship; laying the groundwork for a potential future trade agreement once the UK leaves the EU; and cooperating on global issues.

The UK-US SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Dialogue focused on opportunities presented by emerging technologies for services and digital trade; the obstacles SMEs currently face in trading between the UK and U.S.; and how these obstacles can be reduced, including through a potential future trade agreement.

Later that month, on July 24, Boris Johnson succeeded Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which resulted in Ministerial changes.

With her appointment as Secretary of State for International Trade, in early August, Liz Truss made her first visit to the US, stopping in Washington and New York, to discuss a future UK-US trade agreement. In Washington, she met United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and other senior officials and figures from Congress. In New York, the Secretary of State met with UK-US businesses and visited the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.

August also saw the G7 meet in Biarritz France. Prime Minister Johnson attended and met President Trump where they agreed to establish the Special Relationship Economic Working Group, with the goal of developing market-oriented principles for economic growth, and increasing bilateral cooperation on issues related to the modern 21st century economy.

In September, the Prime Minister travelled to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. While there, he spoke to business leaders at an event in the Hudson Yards district where he highlighted, among other things, the UK’s desire for a free trade deal with the US.

Finally, in October, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid travelled to Washington to attend the IMF and World Bank annual meetings. Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney also attended. In the margins of the meetings, the Chancellor met with his US counterpart, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

 

 

 

 

 

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