UK overtakes Germany and China as top growth market for US business, new survey finds

Tue 18 Jan 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

us trade

Britain has overtaken Germany and China as the market where American companies expect to see most growth in the next 12 months, a survey of US CEOs has found.

More than a third (37%) named the UK as one of the three countries or territories that would be most important for their companies’ revenue growth prospects in 2022.

The annual survey by PwC, reported in the Times, found that 16% more respondents answered the UK to this question compared to last year.

British bounce

British bosses in the survey were even more buoyant, with 82% saying they expected the year ahead to be one of growth.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK, said the UK’s successful vaccine roll out and government funding had helped its recovery.

“Meanwhile, our listed assets represent good value, at a time when many investors have full war chests to spend,” he added.

UK targets US

Accountancy Today reports that UK CEOs also see the US as an attractive investment proposition, with 54% viewing it as an important growth target, up from 44% last year.

Globally, the UK’s stock is rising too with 17% of CEOs selecting the UK as a top three growth target, up from 11% in 2021 and 9% in autumn 2019.

Special relationship

America is the biggest source of inward investment in Britain, according to the Department for International Trade, with one in 20 British workers employed by a US company.

US trade with the UK was worth $273bn in 2019, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The UK is the US’s seventh largest goods trading partner with $132.3bn in two-way trade. In 2019 goods imports from the UK were worth $63.2bn.

No deal

The UK is keen to increase this figure with a trade deal but US president Joe Biden has been unenthusiastic, prompting trade minister Penny Mordaunt to explore state-by-state deals.

Reuters reports that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will pursue talks on completing a separate deal to ease tariffs on British steel and aluminium “when the time is right”.


The Trump-era tariffs impose 25% duties on British steel and 10% levies on aluminium.

The US reached a deal to end similar tariffs with the EU, which kicked in at the start of 2022. It has refrained from offering an equivalent deal to the UK, however, as it bids to pressure London into reaching a settlement with the EU in the negotiations over the future implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.


The UK’s international trade minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, had hoped to kickstart talks on a recent visit to the US but arrived home empty handed.

An invitation to US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo to attend further talks has been rejected as she is too busy to travel to the UK at present, reports the Independent.