The UK will today sign its first US state-level trade deal, with an agreement to be inked with Indiana.
The “trade and economic development Memorandum of Understanding” with Indiana aims to cut red tape for British firms wanting to trade, or operate, with the Midwest state.
The deal will not lower tariffs or quotas on goods going in either direction as this can only be done through a trade deal with the US federal government.
A Department for International Trade statement said the agreement would make it easier for UK professionals to work in Indiana, and vice versa, through mutual recognition of qualifications.
Junior trade minister Ranil Jayawardena said: “With the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, British businesses can capitalise on the great opportunities for collaboration in areas like innovation and manufacturing.”
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan pivoted to trying to sign trade partnerships with individual US states, after negotiations for a trade deal with the White House stalled last year.
Labour shadow international trade secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds pointed out that the 2019 Conservative election manifesto promised to have a post-Brexit US trade deal signed by 2022.
“Reducing barriers to trade with individual states is important, but the government must set out a formal process for proper scrutiny of this Memorandum of Understanding in parliament, and ensure that exporters here in the U.K. are given the support they need to take advantage of new opportunities,” he said.