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Manufacturers at the Table in U.S.–UK Trade Dialogue

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The NAM delivered several key messages to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai this week at the U.S.–UK Dialogue on the Future of Atlantic Trade in Aberdeen, Scotland.

What’s happening: The meetings, convened by Ambassador Tai and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan, were the second in a series begun last month in Baltimore.

  • The meetings in Aberdeen featured a series of dialogues on issues including supply chains, digital trade, small- and medium-sized enterprises and green trade.
  • They included U.S. and UK government officials as well as U.S. and UK business, labor and civil society leaders.

What the NAM said: NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Ken Monahan, who participated in both sets of meetings, told Input that the NAM made two crucial points to Ambassador Tai, Secretary Trevelyan and other leaders this week.

  • “Manufacturers in the United States need diverse sources for trade to ensure supply chain resiliency—supported by a robust network of market-opening, comprehensive, enforceable trade agreements and other arrangements with U.S. allies,” Monahan said.
  • He added that “as the U.S. and the UK take steps to build a stronger, more open and secure economic relationship, the NAM urged the launch of talks toward a new U.S.–UK market-opening trade agreement that includes strong, clear and enforceable outcomes.”

Monahan also told the leaders that a trade deal with the UK should include several key priorities for manufacturers, including:

  • The elimination of tariffs and nontariff barriers;
  • Strong digital trade commitments;
  • Robust engagement on intellectual property issues;
  • Collaboration on standards, technical regulations, testing procedures and conformity assessment;
  • The brokering of common approaches to ending forced labor in global supply chains; and
  • Ensuring stronger alignment on customs procedures and approaches.

Why it matters: The U.S. and the UK share a strong trade and investment relationship.

  • It includes more than $93 billion in two-way trade of manufactured goods and accumulated cross-border investment in manufacturing of more than $273 billion.
  • Key U.S.-manufactured goods exports to the UK include metals, chemicals, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products and machinery.

 The last word: “Recent events show that we need our friends now more than at any time in recent memory,” Monahan said. “It is vital that we forge deeper trade agreements and other economic partnerships with allies like the UK. It is also essential that we work closely with the UK and others to ensure supply chain resiliency and address shared global economic challenges that our companies face in markets around the world.”

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