A bilateral free trade agreement between the United States and United Kingdom would be extremely beneficial. Not only do the U.S. and U.K. have a strong commitment to one another that would be strengthened by this agreement, a trade deal would produce immense economic benefits.
President Donald Trump has expressed concerns with the current state of trade but has also committed to passing strong bilateral free trade agreements that benefit American workers and families. A U.S.-U.K. free trade agreement should be the first step in achieving the trade goals of the new administration. Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Congressman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) have introduced a resolution, H.Res.60, that would pressure the Trump admiration to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement. President Trump should have no hesitation in supporting this resolution as he has expressed the prospect of such an agreement as favorable, considering it a “top priority” of the United States.
While free trade has come under scrutiny in recent years, conceptually it produces immense economic benefits. Free trade agreements allow the elimination and reduction of tariffs—or taxes on trade—as well as other discriminatory measures such as trade quotas.
Fewer barriers on American exports means less money taken by foreign governments out of the pockets of workers and business owners seeking to trade overseas. Fewer barriers on imports into the U.S. results in more competition and access to a greater range of products at lower prices for consumers across the country, guaranteeing a higher standard of living for Americans.
The U.S. economy is heavily reliant on trade, so it is imperative that we have sound bilateral agreements with our major trading partners. Trade-related jobs account for more than one-quarter of ALL jobs in almost every state and a total of 41 million jobs across the country are tied to trade. These jobs pay on average 15-20 percent more than jobs in industries not tied to trade.
The United Kingdom has historically been a major stakeholder and investor in the United States and has also served as a major market for U.S. goods. Following the UK’s “Brexit” vote, there has been much uncertainty as to whether the United Kingdom and the United States can retain the strong economic and cultural ties they share.
Passing Representative Dent and Representative Walker’s U.S.-U.K. trade deal would be a step towards strengthening these meaningful ties by starting the conversation for a bilateral trade agreement. Such a conversation would provide much-needed certainty and stability in the global economy and foster a smooth transition for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union.
It is crucial that the Trump administration take action on this resolution and start the discussion for a U.S.-U.K. bilateral trade agreement.