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Washington D.C. – The United States and the United Kingdom held the third meeting of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group on March 21-22 and the inaugural meeting of the new U.S.-UK Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Dialogue on March 20.
The Working Group, established in July 2017, works to deepen current trade and investment ties between the two nations and is laying the groundwork for a potential, future free trade agreement once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. The delegations were led by officials from the UK Department of International Trade and the Office of the United States Trade Representative and included representatives from a wide range of U.S. and UK government agencies. The Working Group discussions covered a range of topics, including industrial and agricultural goods; services, investment, intellectual property rights and enforcement; regulatory issues related to trade; and small and medium-sized enterprises.
The inaugural meeting of the SME Dialogue brought together more than 100 U.S. and UK SMEs with government officials from both countries to discuss ways to deepen trade and investment and enhance SME cooperation, identify resources currently available from both governments to assist SMEs, and hear from SMEs on their specific challenges and opportunities when trading bilaterally. At the Dialogue, the U.S. and UK governments jointly released the guide to Doing Business in the U.S. and UK: Resources for Small Business as a key tool for SMEs seeking to benefit from U.S.-UK trade. Building on these positive outcomes from the first U.S.-UK SME Dialogue, both governments met the following day as part of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group to further discuss opportunities to work together. During these meetings:
- the United States extended an invitation to the UK government to join the Tenth Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in California, to exchange best practices on innovative approaches to economic development;
- the United States and UK agreed to explore trade promotion and trade show collaboration, notably between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the UK Department for International Trade;
- the 2nd U.S.-UK SME Dialogue will be hosted in the United Kingdom.
As discussed in the March 15 Joint Statement of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox (Joint Statement), the ongoing SME Dialogue was one of several tangible outcomes of the Working Group.