Belfast Telegraph

UK and US business leaders to discuss trade as May and Trump host meeting

By Shaun Connolly

Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump will co-host a meeting of British and American business leaders in a bid to boost trade.

The Prime Minister plans to use the round-table event today to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

The gathering at St James' Palace will also be attended by the Duke of York, Chancellor Philip Hammond and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and the President's daughter and assistant Ivanka are also expected to attend.

The gathering will bring together 10 leading companies, five from each nation, to discuss business opportunities and sectors where expanding links would benefit both sides.

Discussions are expected to focus on research, development and innovation, investment in infrastructure, and the scope for closer partnership in regulation and financial services.

Chief executives and senior representatives from BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, National Grid, Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs International, Bechtel and Splunk are due to attend.

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Referring to the UK-US economic relationship, the Prime Minister is expected to tell the meeting: "It is a great partnership, but one I believe we can make greater still.

"With a bilateral free trade agreement, with broader economic co-operation, and by continuing to work together to underpin, shape and influence the global economy and its rules and institutions - keeping markets free, fair and open, and keeping our industries competitive.

"There are opportunities to seize and there are challenges we need to work together to tackle. Today, let us look at how we do both.

"Through dialogue like this we can ensure that our economic partnership not only endures but continues to grow stronger for many years to come - making our businesses more competitive, and creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity for all our people."

The US is Britain's biggest business partner, with trade between the two worth £190bn in 2018.

Belfast Telegraph