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Washington D.C. -- Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, The Rt Hon Dr. Liam Fox MP, and United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, met Wednesday to discuss shared efforts to continue strengthening the trade and investment relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.
They discussed the importance of on-going work to ensure continuity and certainty for U.S. and UK businesses as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union; the continuing progress of the Trade and Investment Working Group, which will meet next week in Washington, in deepening our present, and defining our future, trade relationship; and efforts to promote free and fair trade, including through the elimination trade-distorting policies and practices around the world and tackling severe overcapacity.
Dr. Fox and Ambassador Lighthizer also made several announcements:
- Both Governments published “toolkits” to help U.S. and UK Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) protect and enforce their intellectual property in each market. The UK and U.S. teams have developed these joint educational tools and resources for small and medium-sized enterprises to support the export of creative and innovative products and services between the two countries:
U.S. Toolkit for UK SMEs: www.uspto.gov/IPToolkit
UK Toolkit for U.S. SMEs: www.gov.uk/government/publications/protecting-intellectual-property-in-the-united-kingdom
- On March 20, the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-UK Dialogue on SMEs will take place in connection with the Working Group meetings. This will bring small and medium businesses and stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic together with government officials to identify ways to deepen trade and investment ties and strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual interest to small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Next week at the SME Dialogue, both Governments will also publish a joint brochure for SMEs on resources for Doing Business in the United States and UK. This resource provides targeted information to SMEs and demonstrates our early commitment to help SMEs benefit from deepening U.S.-UK trade.
Lastly, Dr. Fox and Ambassador Lighthizer recognized the successful conclusion of a Mutual Recognition Agreement between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), representing U.S. state-level regulators. This agreement demonstrates a practical way in which the United States and the UK, with similar high-quality standards, can cooperate closely to facilitate trade with each other.
Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP said:
“Ambassador Lighthizer and I enjoyed a constructive meeting that touched on our shared ambition for a far deeper trade relationship both now and once the UK has left the EU.
“We are committed to maintaining momentum during next week’s UK-US Trade and Investment Group meeting in Washington, D.C. The Working Group discussions have agreed new measures to benefit small business in both our countries with the launch of SME Dialogue and the Toolkit on IP Protection for SMEs.
“We also spoke about the United States’ planned imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said:
“Secretary of State Fox and I had very productive discussions on how to deepen our already extensive trade relationship – both now and when the UK leaves the EU. We are looking forward to hosting the UK team next week here in Washington for the third meeting of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group. This working group is an important element of our shared agenda to achieve free and fair trade, address the challenges faced by the global trading system, and to create good-paying jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
"The launch of both the SME Dialogue and the Toolkit on IP Protection for SMEs are two practical outcomes of our discussions so far. We look forward to continuing to expand opportunities for our businesses and workers, including for small and medium sized enterprises.”