U.S., UK Continue Working Toward Post-Brexit FTA
The U.S. and the United Kingdom continued working toward a potential free trade agreement at the fifth meeting of their bilateral trade and investment working group held recently in Washington, D.C. The two sides also held a separate session on small and medium-sized enterprises.
According to a press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the working group has been focusing on providing commercial continuity for U.S. and UK businesses, workers, and consumers as the UK prepares to leave the European Union in March 2019, including by laying the groundwork for a possible bilateral FTA. During their recent meeting, members of the working group exchanged information on issues such as industrial and agricultural goods, services, investment, digital trade, intellectual property, regulations, and SMEs to ensure both sides are well-prepared to open negotiations. They also worked to ensure continuity in the bilateral trading and economic relationship underpinned by international agreements as the UK leaves the EU.
The third U.S.-UK SME dialogue focused on digital trade benefits for SMEs and e-commerce tools to promote SME exports. In addition, officials released joint e-commerce guides for small businesses selling online into both markets. The next session of the SME dialogue is scheduled for summer 2019 in the UK, and the two sides have also agreed to hold a sectoral-focused SME best practice exchange on marine technology in April 2019.