The recent advances in trade between the UK and the US indicate a potentially significant step forward towards a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement.
Nigel Huddleston, the UK’s Trade Minister, recently visited the US and signed the fourth state-level Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance trade and investment with Oklahoma. Additionally, a ground-breaking Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) was established between the architect regulators of both nations.
The agreement between the UK and Oklahoma will emphasise enhancing green trade, specifically focusing on carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
This will enhance the £174.4 million worth of goods exported by UK firms to Oklahoma in 2022, thereby creating more employment opportunities for UK businesses.
The MRA simplifies the process for UK architects to operate in specific states by diminishing the necessary testing and speeding up the licensing process.
The agreement was established between the Architects Registration Board (ARB) of the UK and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) of the US on 16 February 2023.
The agreement extends to a variety of states including three of the top five states by GDP – Texas, California and Illinois. It also covers economically smaller states such as Wyoming, Oregon and Arizona.
Existing MoUs between the UK and Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina are in place, and negotiations for future agreements with states like Utah, Texas and California are underway.
Through these state-level agreements via MoUs and MRAs, there is an expectation that more localised trade and investment opportunities could potentially set the stage for federal-level trade discussions.
These breakthroughs are of considerable importance to UK exporters and importers as they suggest a potential progression towards a broad trade agreement with the US.
By reinforcing relationships with individual states in conjunction with federal government dealings, the UK is creating opportunities for economic expansion and job creation.
Therefore, exporters and importers are advised to keep a close watch on the progress of these agreements and consider the possible impact on their businesses.
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