BREXIT BRITAIN: More UK trade opportunities ‘unlocked’ as minister signs trade pact with fourth US state

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Trade minister Nigel Huddleston is in Washington to deepen UK-US trade ties and secure two wins that will boost jobs, investment and exports across the Atlantic.

He will open his visit by signing a state-level trade Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oklahoma, the fourth such agreement between the UK and a US state, before welcoming a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between UK and US architect regulators.

The MoU with Oklahoma will unlock opportunities for UK businesses to export more and encourage inward investment, which will in turn drive economic growth and create jobs in the UK, contributing to the government’s priority to grow the economy.

Business and Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“I’m thrilled to be in America building on our strong trading relationship with the US through our innovative programme of state-level MoUs and a trailblazing agreement between US and UK architect regulators.

“Both these agreements will benefit British businesses, unlock huge opportunities in clean energy and technology through our MoU with Oklahoma and make it easier for our world-leading British architects to export their services across the Atlantic.

“The US is our largest trading partner, and these wins reflect our successful twin-track approach to trade with the US, strengthening links with individual states in parallel with work with the federal government.”

The MoU aims to boost the £174.4 million worth of goods UK companies exported to the UK in 2022 and generate more jobs for exporters in the UK.

Nearly 3,000 jobs in Oklahoma are supported by exports to the UK and nearly 10,000 people in the state are employed by British companies.

Top goods exports from UK to Oklahoma in 2022 included nuclear equipment, precious stones and metals and photographic equipment, including medical and navigational.

The Minister will attend an event on 19 April with industry bodies to welcome the ground-breaking architect MRA.

The MRA could increase UK services exports to the US by around £40 million per annum.

This is the first of its kind signed by the UK’s Architects Registration Board (ARB) and will ensure UK architects can take advantage of new opportunities in several states across the United States.

BritishAmerican Business CEO Duncan Edwards said: “The UK government’s state-level engagement makes good business sense.

“We welcome today’s signing and look forward to helping transatlantic companies develop new business ties in the state of Oklahoma.

“While these MoUs foster further trade and investment opportunities at a local level, our hope is that their success can help put trade talks at a federal level back on the agenda.”

Practicing architecture in the US requires licensing, typically at state level, which makes it harder for UK architects to work in the country.

But under the agreement, eligible UK architects and businesses will face significantly less testing and a shorter process to get a licence in participating jurisdictions.

The Oklahoma MoU will focus on decarbonisation, particularly through boosting collaboration and investment in areas such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

The Government has identified CCUS as an area of economic opportunity for the UK – expected to create up to 50,000 British jobs by the end of this decade.

The UK already has MoUs in place with Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, which are helping UK businesses meet new buyers and secure new contracts. The UK is currently discussing future agreements with states including Utah, Texas and California.

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