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Trade deal with the US ‘will drive growth’ says CBI

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Setting the bar high and designing a trade deal that showcases global standards will make an agreement between the UK and the USA fit for the future, the CBI’s Director-General said on Wednesday.

The CBI’s leader said the UK and US have a a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a trade deal that will drive growth.

Speaking at The Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said that any such deal can only be successful if public trust in trade is rebuilt, and trade is shown to increase investment, opportunities and prosperity in communities across the UK and the USA.

Highlighting the unique commercial ties between the two countries, the leader of Britain’s largest business group outlined three major areas of opportunity in a trade deal, services, small and medium-sized enterprises and engagement with individual states.

On making a UK and US trade deal fit for the future, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said, “Currently, no-one is thinking about trade like the UK is. After years seen as the old guard, we are now the new radicals.

“So, who better to break new ground on global trade than we, the new radicals, alongside you, the world’s biggest economy, with whom we share so much?

“I believe we will only win back the trust of communities if we have the courage to be honest that in a globalised economy, free trade and open markets will sometimes affect jobs.

“And the confidence to argue that the right response to this is not to close the door to foreign competition, but to invest at home, particularly in skills for the changing nature of work, to help more people succeed and share in rising prosperity.

“Together, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a trade deal that not only drives growth, but also wrestles with the realities of the modern global economy.”

On rebuilding trust in trade, Dame Carolyn said, “Look around the world, people have lost faith in trade. They’re not convinced it delivers the great jobs, lower prices and better lives that politicians promise.

“There’s real power in that scepticism, stalling countless past negotiations.

“I believe we will only win back the trust of communities if we have the courage to be honest that in a globalised economy, free trade and open markets will sometimes affect jobs. And the confidence to argue that the right response to this is not to close the door to foreign competition, but to invest at home, particularly in skills for the changing nature of work to help more people succeed and share in rising prosperity.

“Together, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a trade deal that not only drives growth, but also wrestles with the realities of the modern global economy.

“We have spent the past year consulting our members on the opportunities they see in a US trade deal, and they are very much about the modern economy. First, services. There’s huge potential to expand services trade across the Atlantic, particularly through easing skilled migration.

“Second, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Simplifying customs procedures can make exporting far easier for smaller firms on both sides.

“And third, State-level engagement. Many sectors stand to benefit from a closer relationship with individual states and vice versa, whether on procurement or recognition of professional qualifications.”




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