On October 16, 2018, the Trump Administration notified Congress that the President intends to negotiate a trade agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) once it leaves the European Union (EU), in accordance with section 105(a)(l)(A) of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act). Our specific objectives for this negotiation will comply with the specific objectives set forth by Congress in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.
The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities for trade and investment with the UK. As the first and fifth biggest global economies, the U.S. economic relationship with the UK is one of the largest and most complex in the world, with annual two-way trade totaling more than $230 billion. Despite this significant trade volume, multiple tariff and non-tariff barriers have challenged U.S. exporters in key sectors while the UK has been a Member State of the EU and therefore a part of the common trade policy of the EU. The UK’s decision to leave the EU creates a new opportunity to expand and deepen the U.S.-UK trade relationship. A new U.S.-UK trade agreement could address these challenges, as well as provide an opportunity to develop new approaches to emerging trade areas where the United States and the UK share common interests and are global leaders, such as digital trade and financial services.
Our aim in negotiations with the UK is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve fairer and deeper trade in a manner consistent with the objectives that Congress has set out in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. We are committed to working closely with Congress, including on matters of scope, and to following the requirements of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act and the guidelines issued pursuant to section 104(a)(3) of that Act. Further, we recognize that effective implementation and enforcement of the commitments made by our trading partners under our trade agreements are vital to the success of those agreements, and we will seek provisions that ensure effective implementation and enforcement.
As a part of the process of formulating these objectives, on November 16, 2018, we solicited public comments by Federal Register notice regarding objectives and positions for a U.S.-UK trade agreement and received over 120 submissions. We held a public hearing on January 29, 2019, to hear the testimony of 24 witnesses regarding negotiating objectives and positions.
We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for U.S. consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers, consistent with U.S. priorities and the negotiating objectives established by Congress in statute. As part of this process, the Administration will update these negotiating objectives in the future, consistent with section 105(a)(1)(D) of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress as negotiations with the UK begin, and we are committed to working with Congress closely and transparently throughout the process