Kemi Badenoch, the UK’s new international trade secretary, is expected to emphasise the importance of UK-US trade in a speech later today (28 September) as part of her efforts to secure US investment in British businesses.
Badenoch, who was given the trade brief by prime minister Liz Truss as part of her first cabinet, will visit New York in her first overseas trip and will address the Atlantic Future Forum (AFF).
The AFF is a policy forum hosted by the UK and is expected to welcome high-ranking policymakers, business leaders and politicians, with many major US and UK companies also in attendance.
‘Partner of choice’
“The US is our single most important trade, defence and security partner. We share the same values – freedom, free trade and the rule of law,” Badenoch is expected to say.
“The UK is a low-tax, high-talent, innovation nation and I will show America’s biggest companies that we are ready to be their investment partner of choice.”
Reuters reports that the trade secretary will highlight the importance of US-UK investment even as trade talks between the two nations appear to have halted.
No trade deal expected
Truss had previously admitted there is unlikely to be a US-UK trade deal in the “short-to-medium term”.
The new PM, a former trade secretary herself, had previously pointed to a such a deal as a key benefit of Brexit.
The Evening Standard reports that the trip comes amidst deep concerns in the Biden administration about Truss’ plans for the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Following her speech, Badenoch will spend two days in New York promoting UK businesses to US companies.
According to a government statement, she will spend some of her time emphasising the agreements signed between individual US states and the UK.
Indiana and North Carolina were the first two states who reached such an agreement.
The government statement announcing her visit singles out Oklahoma and South Carolina as being the two states with which the UK is likely to next secure deals.
Her predecessor in the role, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, had told a parliamentary committee that six more agreements were expected before the end of the year, with Texas also among the states the UK is prioritising negotiations with.