Kemi Badenoch hints which US state could be Brexit Britain’s next trade win

Kemi Badenoch says ‘we cannot stand still’ on UK investment

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has suggested Britain now has its eyes on its next major trade boost with a US state, following her success in Florida two weeks ago.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Badenoch told MPs that Britain is on course to sign a huge agreement with California, a state with an economy larger than India and Britain.

If California were an independent country, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world, after the US, China, Japan and Germany, meaning a potentially huge boost for Britain’s exporters.

Responding to a question from David Davis about her recent deal in Florida, and what it means for progress on a US-wide trade deal, the trade secretary said it is disappointing that the US is refusing to sign new trade deals with any third country.

“I will start off by letting my Rt Hon. friend know that we are very ready to have a trade deal with the US, but the US is not undertaking any FTA with any country, this is of course disappointing but they know we stand ready.

READ MORE: Kemi Badenoch signs major new trade pact with Florida in latest Brexit victory

“That is why we’ve had the state [memorandum of understanding] programme.

“The latest figures actually show that UK-US trade has reached £310 billion.”

She outlined that the UK is the biggest investor in Florida, but her eyes on the next potential trade partner already.

“I met the California governor, Gavin Newson, who wants to be even faster in signing a memorandum of understanding with the UK, because they understand this is a country that has a lot of opportunity to offer and they want to do business with us.”

A source subsequently told the Express that talks with the major US state are “progressing nicely”, and they hope to conclude the agreement next year.

They added the negotiations are in a “good place”.

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The UK has now signed trade deals with seven US states since Brexit: Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington.

Collectively they have an economy worth nearly $4 trillion.

Trade experts have told the Express that California is just one of 20 states expected to sign a trade deal with Brexit Britain.

Texas, Colorado and Illinois are also all being negotiated with.

Experts have said that deals with US states are in many ways more valuable to the UK than a single federal trade deal with America which President Biden has blocked because it gives Britain access to the service industry.

Marco Forgione, director general of the Institute of Export and International Trade (IoE&IT) has pointed out previously that 80 percent of the UK economy is made up of the service industry and a US deal could not provide it access to the American markets while state deals can.

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