The US market grows in size and opportunity

The United States of America is the UK’s largest single trading partner, with the value of goods and services nearly five times the value of trade with Germany, the UK’s second largest export market and hopes are growing of a breakthrough in US/UK trade negotiations.

Total US goods imported to the United Kingdom in 2022 were ÂŁ60 billion, up 24% on 2021 and up 39% from 2012, while exports totalled ÂŁ51 billion in 2022, up 14% from 2021, and 16% from 2012. 

Despite FTA negotiations starting in May 2020, there have been none since October 2020 and officially no agreement is expected soon.

However, press reports have been emerging that President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are preparing a “foundational” trade agreement to be agreed before elections in both countries next year.

Despite British business and trade minister Kemi Badenoch insisting there was a “zero” chance of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, negotiations are expected to start, with the initial set of chapters completed by spring of next year, according to a draft plan prepared by the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office in late August.

Tentatively dubbed the US-UK Trade Partnership Forum (TPF), the initiative will not remove tariffs, but it could reduce barriers to trade, simplify access to the US market and create opportunities for importers and exporters, which is why we will watch developments closely.

The United States is an important market for many of Metro’s largest and longest-standing customers and the main board has reaffirmed the US’ strategic importance, by committing to the further growth of Metro’s local network, capability and resource in 2024.

Andrew Smith, Metro Chief Commercial Officer, recently returned from a series of client, carrier and local partner meetings in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Commenting on his most recent trip and Metro’s US commitment, Andrew said. “It was most gratifying to conduct a positive 1st Quarterly Business Review with a customer new to the US market, on the ground, with the local team.”

“This trip was concentrated in the NE quadrant of the country and focused on visiting network partner and carrier operations, to review processes and capabilities, as well as considering new sites, for trial shipments with a view to long term cooperation.”

“Overall I am happy with our capabilities in this part of the US, including many of the strategic East Coast ports, which have been exemplified by the client review, which recognised our ability to anticipate and overcome hurdles, quickly embedding efficient processes.”

To discuss US trade opportunities, or to learn about our in-country capabilities and support, please EMAIL Andrew Smith, Chief Commercial Officer.