International trade secretary Liam Fox has travelled to Washington for early talks with US officials on a potential free trade deal.
In a two-day visit, Fox will meet US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce, trade policy organisations and business representatives.
US President Donald Trump has expressed desire to ink a new deal with the UK "very quickly" after it quits the EU in 2019.
Formal Brexit negotiations will begin on Monday, but the UK is unable to complete any deals while it remains an EU member.
Trade between the two countries is worth more than £150bn a year, and the US is the single biggest source of inward investment into the UK.
In a statement ahead of the trip, Fox said: “This visit will also help lay the groundwork for a potential future UK-US free trade agreement and the practical steps we can take now in order to enable companies in both countries to trade and do business with one another more easily”.
Fox previously met senior Republican and US house of representative speaker Paul Ryan in London.