Brexit breakthrough as trade deals with US states expected within weeks

Britain is expected to sign its first economic pacts with American states next month

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An arrangement between Texas and the UK could be agreed by October, a trade minister has said.

Penny Mordaunt told MPs the first eight agreements in the pipeline will be “equivalent to 20 percent of the US’ economy”.

With progress stalled on a UK-US free trade deal after Brexit, the Government has switched its focus to making agreements with individual states in a bid to assist UK businesses.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Damian Collins said: “States in the USA like Texas and California have larger gross domestic products than many European nations.

“Aside from the UK-US trade negotiations, could the minister say what progress is being made in doing trade deals between the UK and individual states in the USA?”

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt
Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Ms Mordaunt replied: “We’re making considerable progress on this and are in discussions with around 20 US states.

“I’ve just returned from Texas, which if it was a country in its own right would be the seventh largest economy in the world.

“We’re going to do a state-level agreement with Texas, we hope by October of this year, and we will start signing these agreements with US states next month.

“The first eight we have in the pipeline will be equivalent to 20 percent of the US economy.”

It came as Labour pressed the Government to make the suspension on all tariffs and quotas on trade between UK and Ukraine a permanent arrangement.

Shadow Trade Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “The political free trade and strategic partnership agreement between the UK and Ukraine was signed back in 2020.

“Will the Government commit to updating this agreement to make the scrapping of tariffs and quotas not just a temporary measure but a permanent one to support the recovery of Ukraine from this appalling illegal invasion in years ahead?”

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We will be continuing to look at how we can both support Ukraine and continue to tighten the sanctions and trade pressures on Russia and those who work alongside Russia, like Belarus, as we support the Ukrainian population to keep defending their territory – which of course will continue to involve making sure their economy can thrive.

“We will be bringing forward these through the existing FTA in the short-term and we will continue to work with Ukrainians.”

Ms Trevelyan said she would be meeting the Ukrainian ambassador on Thursday to discuss further support.