05 February 2020
Speaking at The Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., Dame Carolyn Fairbairn will say 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 will also outline three major areas of opportunity in a trade deal – services, small and medium-sized enterprises and engagement with individual states.
On making a UK/USA trade deal fit for the future, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn DBE, will say:
“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?
“Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic recognise the significant political will and ambition to negotiate a free trade agreement between our two governments. This is very good news. Thousands of British firms see great opportunities to extend our trading relationship.
“But in trade deals, the substance really matters. So, our request of both negotiating teams will be this. This is a chance for the UK and U.S. to show the world how to secure an agreement fit for the future.
“Let’s set the bar high. Use these trade discussions to design global standards in areas like e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence, and FinTech, the regulation of autonomous vehicles.”
On rebuilding trust in trade, Dame Carolyn will say:
“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.”
On a UK/US trade deal, Dame Carolyn will say:
“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.”