As the US looks forward to a day full of festivity, food and sport today on Thanksgiving, UK companies are exporting more goods and services than ever before across the Atlantic.
Latest figures reveal that in the year to August 2018, UK exports to the US reached £111.8bn, an increase of 4.1% on the same period the year before.
The good news comes as the Trump administration has opened up a consultation on a potential free trade agreement with the UK. Negotiations on a free trade agreement look set to begin shortly after the UK departs the European Union on 29 March 2019.
International trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, said: “The USA is our single largest trading partner, and as we take control of our own trading policy for the first time in forty years, our special relationship will be more important than ever.
“My international economic department has already consulted on what a new free trade agreement with the US would look like, and we are looking forward to beginning negotiations after we leave the EU.
“I welcome the positive steps that US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has already taken to ensure trade talks can begin, such as notifying Congress and seeking views from the US public.”
UK-wide consultations on how a future free trade agreement with the US, New Zealand, Australia and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have recently concluded.
One British company who are particularly active in the run-up to Thanksgiving are KellyBronze, the Essex turkey farmers who are putting turkeys on the plates of thousands of Americans this evening.
Supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT), in 2014, the family-run business from Danbury opened a new 130-acre farm in Crozet, Virginia where their free-range birds can roam across woodland and pastures. DIT has helped the company with export advice and opportunities for exports.
Paul Kelly, managing director of KellyBronze, said: “The Department for International Trade has been very helpful in keeping us informed of new opportunities or even events that may be of benefit to Kelly Turkeys' export business.”
DIT recently launched the government’s Export Strategy which sets out how they will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.
A collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms - the Strategy sets a new ambition from the government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.
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