A Free Trade Agreement with the US could boost the economy in the South West by £284 million in the long run, indicative estimates currently show.
Supporting the dairy industry, food and drink, and small businesses, the FTA could allow the region to reduce tariffs for key exports such as dairy, which are currently as high as 25%.
As well as this, it could see protection and growth for the region’s famous local exports. Already the South West exports £3.7m of drinks to the US and a deal could help build these exports and maintain effective protection of food and drink names to reflect their geographical origins such as Cornish Cider.
Regional small business would also benefit, where a deal Helping small businesses: a deal could ease US customs procedures for businesses.
Commenting on the news, Selaine Saxby MP said:
“Businesses across the UK are under particular and understandable stress, but it is encouraging that alongside negotiations with the EU that we continue to work on vital international trade agreements are also moving forward.
The future free trade agreement with the US could be particularly beneficial for the South West and the Department of International Trade estimate a boost to our economy of £284 million in the long run.
In the South West there are 3058 businesses who export to the US which accounts for £7,162 worth of goods exported per minute. It is understandable that businesses are concentrating on the now, but we also have to look to the future as well.”