The UK Trade Agreement with the US: What You Need to Know
On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union – a momentous occasion that marked the beginning of a new era for the country. One of the key challenges facing the UK government in the post-Brexit world is the negotiation of trade deals with major global partners. Among these partners, the United States is one of the most significant, and negotiations for a UK-US trade deal have been underway since mid-2019.
So, what can we expect from the UK Trade Agreement with the US? Here are some key points to keep in mind:
1. Negotiations are ongoing.
Despite months of talks, a final agreement has yet to be reached. However, both sides have expressed optimism that a deal can be done soon. A key sticking point has been the issue of agricultural standards, with the US pushing for greater access to the UK market for its products – such as chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef – that do not meet current UK standards.
2. The UK stands to gain economically.
A trade deal with the US could bring significant economic benefits for the UK. The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that a free trade agreement with the US could boost UK GDP by up to 0.2% over the long term. In particular, the UK could benefit from increased access to the US market for its services industries – such as finance, professional services, and creative industries – where it has a strong competitive advantage.
3. There could be downsides for consumers.
One of the main concerns about a UK-US trade deal is that it could result in lower standards for consumers. For example, US-produced foods that do not meet current UK standards – such as hormone-treated beef and chlorine-washed chicken – could become more widespread. This could lead to a race to the bottom, with UK producers undercut by cheaper, lower-quality imports.
4. The deal could have wider implications.
A UK-US trade deal is not just about economic benefits and risks for the two countries involved. It could also have wider implications for the global trading system. For example, some experts have suggested that a UK-US deal could help to push forward negotiations at the World Trade Organization, which has been stalled in recent years due to disputes between major players such as the US and China.
Overall, the UK Trade Agreement with the US is a complex issue with potential upsides and downsides for both sides. As negotiations continue, it will be important to keep a close eye on the details and potential impacts of any final deal that is agreed.