Three things the Prime Minister needs to raise with the President this week.

17 September 2021
Contact: Dominic Parker, Senior Communications & Media Manager | 020 7290 9882 | +44 7500 115352

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in the United States this week alongside members of the Cabinet to meet with President Biden and senior officials. BritishAmerican Business CEO Duncan Edwards shares the three areas that should be the priority for discussion:

Three things the Prime Minister needs to raise with the President this week.

As the British PM heads to Washington and NYC this week, with newly appointed Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, the focus of the meetings is likely to be on climate with the high profile COP26 meeting just around the corner.  Inevitably, and quite rightly, there will also be time devoted to security and intelligence matters, which underpin the relationship and the broader Five Eyes alliance.

But, given the importance of the bilateral economic relationship, there should also be time set aside to talk about how to make this crucial partnership even stronger.  Here are three issues the PM should raise:

For goodness’ sake, open up! The USA is still effectively closed to travelers from the UK and the EU on Covid grounds.  This is a hangover from the earliest days of the pandemic in 2020 which President Biden renewed when he first took office.  With vaccination rates in the UK higher, and infection rates lower than in the USA there is not the slightest reason on health grounds for this policy to remain in place in the US.  Ideally travel should be as unhindered as it used to be but mirroring the UK’s policy of vaccination and tests would be a start.

Clear and shared regulatory objectives.  The US and UK are the homes of many of the world’s greatest businesses and continue to be good places to launch and grow new corporations.  Most business leaders are extremely conscious of ESG considerations and want to do the ‘right thing’ but it surely is the role of government to define what these standards should be, built on input from industry.  There is an opportunity for the US and UK to define regulatory standards for each part of ESG and should work together to ensure that even if the relevant regulations aren’t identical in wording, they can be treated as broadly equivalent.

A positive voice for trade.  Both the US and UK have benefited from global trade that has become increasingly liberalized over the recent decades.  The trade between the US and UK, in goods and especially in services is huge and one of the world’s great economic success stories.  Whilst a full free trade agreement may be unlikely in the near future with the focus on domestic issues in the USA, it should remain an ambition.  In the meantime, there is a lot that the two countries can work on to remove unnecessary barriers to trade and investment.  Top of the list should be the removal of the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs which are still in place, and a replacement for the privacy shield to allow companies to transfer data safely and in line with respective privacy regimes.

About BritishAmerican Business

BritishAmerican Business is the leading transatlantic trade association incorporating the British-American Chamber of Commerce in the US and the American Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

We are committed to strengthening the economic corridor between the United States and the United Kingdom by supporting policies and actions that protect and enhance the environment for transatlantic trade and investment on behalf of our members.

We convene and serve a growing network of companies and business leaders through networking opportunities, bespoke programming and marketing platforms.

We actively promote trade and investment and support those who make the transatlantic corridor part of their business growth ambition.