The World In A Week – The UK / US Alliance
Last week the US and UK commemorated and celebrated their historic alliance and friendship. The week included the rarity of both the D-Day commemorations of World War Two as well as the US President’s State Visit.
Both occasions demonstrated the continuing bond between the two countries. One focused on humanity and the enormous courage and personal sacrifice made to defeat Nazi tyranny, and the other focused on their relationship and their bilateral approach going forward.
Much can be written about the importance and the success of both of these occasions. For the investment community though, there was one stand-out development.
At his press conference the President emphasised his keenness for a free trade deal with the UK. He claimed there could be ‘2 and 3 times of what we’re doing right now’. This builds on his previous comments that his administration would ‘work on it very, very quickly.’
This will be very welcomed by investors in the UK, especially at a time when many are concerned with Brexit, as this demonstrates the UK’s trade appeal and thus the potential for such trade deals to be replicated globally too.
It should be noted; the UK and the US are the largest investors in each other’s countries (as measured by total Foreign Direct Investment). For example, as at 2017, the UK had invested $541bn in the US and the US had invested $750bn in the UK.
Regarding trade, as at 2018, the UK had a $5.4bn goods deficit with the US and a $14.5bn services deficit too thus an overall trade deficit of $19.9bn with the US. This is likely to be something the UK will aim to address in any free trade agreement.
It was a successful and welcome week for both countries that also demonstrated the importance and enjoyment of good relations.