The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the U.S.-UK Business Council, an organization that will work to strengthen the special commercial relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Launched on the occasion of Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to the United States to meet with President Donald J. Trump, the Chamber’s new U.S.-UK Business Council will serve as the leading Washington platform for the American business community to engage with policymakers on deepening trade and investment ties between the U.S. and the UK. The Council also will enable U.S. firms to communicate with officials in London, Brussels, and across the European Union as the UK resets its relationship with the EU.

“The special economic relationship between the U.S. and the UK is rooted in a shared reverence for free enterprise, free markets, and mutually beneficial trade,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber. “Our common pride in those principles means that as the UK forges a new path in this global economy, policymakers will be faced with significant decisions that necessarily impact the American business community.

“The Council welcomes discussion between President Trump and Prime Minister May on the future of the U.S.-UK commercial relationship,” continued Brilliant. “The UK will likely need to finish its negotiations for exiting the EU before the timing is right to finalize a new trade agreement with Washington. The American business community is eager to strengthen its close relationship with the UK, and such an agreement could be a useful vehicle to accomplish those objectives.”

The United States and United Kingdom are each other’s single largest foreign investors. U.S. firms have invested over USD 600 billion in the UK market – nearly a quarter of total U.S. investment in Europe – and UK companies have invested overUSD 450 billion in the U.S. market.

“The U.S. is Britain’s largest single trading partner and our top export destination. Investment from U.S. businesses supports a million jobs in the UK, and UK companies support a million jobs here,” said Sir Kim Darroch, British ambassador to the United States. “As we leave the EU and plan for our future outside it, the UK will seek to strengthen these critical business ties. The U.S.-UK Business Council will be an important platform for such engagement, and I look forward to working with the Council.”

American companies have a significant stake in the outcome of upcoming negotiations between the UK and the European Union. Late last year, the U.S. Chamber outlined the U.S. business community’s priority policy areas ahead of those negotiations, including market access, movement of skilled labor, financial services, data, tax policy, and transition measures. The U.S.-UK Business Council will help ensure that these interests are taken into account in the debates that lie ahead.

The U.S.-UK Business Council is comprised of dozens of companies representing all sectors of the economy. Members of the Council’s board include: Allergan, Amway, The Coca-Cola Company, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, Experian, IBM, Microsoft, UPS, and Zebra Technologies.

Source: USCC

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