The United Kingdom’s Business and commerce Secretary has just signed a deal that would expand commerce with the state of Florida. This is the latest arrangement that the British government has reached with a single state in the United States as it waits for a more comprehensive US free trade agreement after Brexit.
The seventh agreement reached between the United Kingdom and individual states in the United States was memorandum of understanding which signed on Tuesday by Kemi Badenoch and the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.
The United Kingdom stated that the agreement would place an emphasis on the fields of space exploration, financial technology, artificial intelligence, and legal services.
As a crucial component of its post-Brexit plans to enhance commerce with nations other than those in the EU, the United Kingdom government is eager to clinch an agreement with the United States. In spite of the fact that the Conservative party promised in its 2019 campaign to reach an agreement over the next three years, however, progress has been slow.
An “Atlantic declaration” was signed in June by the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak. This declaration will enable British businesses to access certain subsidies offered by the United States, but it does not constitute a free trade deal.
In the interim, the United Kingdom has been concentrating on state-level treaties, the most recent of which being with the state of Washington. There are agreements of a comparable nature with the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah.
According to Sam Lowe, a partner at the trade consultancy Flint Global, state-level treaties cannot compete with country-level free trade agreements for impact since they cannot cut tariffs. However, state-level deals can offer some advantages in easing business, which is a positive aspect.
In prior accords, elements were introduced to acknowledge professional qualifications and ease regulatory hurdles for international enterprises.
Badenoch traveled all the way to Jacksonville, Florida, in order to sign the agreement with DeSantis, who is one of the most famous candidates running against Donald Trump for the nomination of the Republican party for president. His campaign for the White House has been hampered by a high-profile legal spat with Disney over his views on the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
According to Badenoch, “Florida is a major economy in its own right, with a larger gross domestic product than the majority of European countries.”
From the launch of satellites to the development of the most up-to-date fintech software, the best high-tech businesses in Florida provide tremendous prospects to the constantly increasing tech sector in the United Kingdom.
“The signing that took place today demonstrates that our US state-level strategy is working and delivering for UK firms, providing them with an advantage in competition in some of the most exciting markets in the world.”
According to Lowe, there is “possibly some future economic upside” in an agreement, and this is especially true when considering the federal nature of the United States.
The GDP of Florida is approximately £1.1 trillion, making it the fourth largest economy of any US state and roughly the size of Spain’s. US states retain major regulatory powers, despite the fact that Florida is the fourth largest economy of any US state.
According to him, “within the United States, quite a few of the regulatory barriers that UK firms face are addressable at the state level.” In spite of this, he continued by saying, “They are not the equivalent of a full free trade agreement.”