The UK will begin signing trade deals with individual US states from next month, with an agreement with Texas set to be inked by October.
Trade minister Penny Mordaunt said the government was in discussions with 20 US states – including California and Utah – to sign the mini-trade deals,
Texas and California are priorities for the government as the two states would have the seventh and fifth largest national economies in the world if they were countries.
She told MPs: “We are going to do a state-level agreement with Texas, we hope by October of this year, and we will start signing these agreements with US states next month.
“The first eight we have in the pipeline will be equivalent to 20 per cent of the United States economy.”
The UK pivoted to signing trade deals with US states, after negotiations for a nationwide agreement stalled with the Joe Biden administration last year.
However, international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan recently indicated the White House may now be open to restarting negotiations.
Deals signed with individual states will not be able to lower tariffs on goods travelling in either direction, however it is understood they can open up opportunities around mutual recognition of qualifications and break down barriers to cross-border business.