The first Working Group enabled by the UK / Indiana Memorandum of Understanding has taken place in Indianapolis this week [Mon 12 December].

The Indiana MoU, which was signed in May, has already created a framework to remove barriers to trade and investment, paving the way for UK and Indianan businesses to invest, export, expand and create jobs.

Since leaving the European Union in January 2020, Britain has sought to define a new independent trade policy, keen to cast itself as defender of free trade and eager to drive manufacturing growth by promoting exports of premium ‘Made in Britain’ products.

The UK is currently working with about 20 US states to secure individual trade deals, with the first eight alone accounting for about 20% of the U.S. economy.

Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands said:

THESE MOUS WITH US STATES CAN COVER AREAS VITAL TO THE UK, FROM TECH AND RENEWABLE ENERGY TO FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.

WE’RE ENGAGING WITH THE US AT EVERY LEVEL – FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL – TO INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES FOR UK BUSINESSES.

WHETHER IT’S SUCCESSFULLY SECURING AN EXPANSIVE REMOVAL OF SECTION 232 TARIFFS ON IMPORTS OF UK STEEL AND ALUMINIUM INTO THE US, SIGNING MOUS WITH INDIVIDUAL STATES OR SEEKING RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS, THE UK IS FOCUSED ON DELIVERING FOR BRITISH BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS.

The first deal with entrepreneurial powerhouse Indiana is already offering UK firms significant opportunities in areas like renewable energy, advanced manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

The UK is the seventh largest export market for Indiana, and the state buys $1.4 billion worth of goods from the UK. The government say this agreement will act as a springboard to grow this even further.

The UK also has US state deals already signed with North Carolina and South Carolina. A government source says an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Utah is also very close to being signed early next year.

Yesterday (Monday), the UK and State of Indiana held the first government to government working group under the UK-Indiana MoU on economic cooperation and trade relations, in Indianapolis.

Alan Gogbashian, Consul General for the United Kingdom in Chicago and Bradley Chambers, Secretary of Commerce for the State of Indiana, led a discussion focused on energy transition, sustainability and government procurement, which highlighted opportunities to deepen cooperation in these areas.

Since being signed, the MoU has provided a framework for increased engagement on economic development, trade promotion and academic collaboration. 

In acknowledgment of the progress made to date, both sides agreed to expand the next working group session, to be held in early 2023, to involve representatives from industry, SMEs and academia as part of ongoing joint work to deliver mutual prosperity, underpin engagement and create jobs in the UK and Indiana.

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