Press release: International Trade Day - Trade Mission of British Maritime Leaders arrive in New York

Arrival signifies a renewed commitment from the UK maritime sector to future US/UK Trade Relations

  • Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, Dr. Liam Fox, joins Maritime UK aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the inaugural ‘Maritime Nations Forum’ between the UK and US.
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and RMS Queen Mary 2, the flagship of Cunard Line, will be in New York harbour together on Monday, 22 October.
  • Delegation arrives as US administration formally confirmed it intends to pursue a trade deal with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after leaving the EU.

New York – A delegation of business leaders from the UK maritime sector arrive in New York today accompanied by the Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, Dr. Liam Fox.

The British maritime leaders with meet with an American delegation aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth at the inaugural ‘Maritime Nations Forum’ between the UK and US. The US delegation features major names from the New York maritime scene - lawyers, bankers, shipbrokers, insurers, technologists - and leaders from the wider United States.

The maritime delegation arrives at a pivotal time in the negotiations on the UK's departure from the UK. With the UK's Department for International Trade consulting on a new free trade agreement with the US, the scope of that trade deal will depend on the terms deal agreed with the EU.

On Wednesday (17 October) the US administration formally confirmed it intends to pursue a trade deal with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after leaving the EU.

As a single country the US is the largest export market for the UK, while as a supplier of goods and services to the UK, the US comes in second. The UK is also an important trade partner to the US. For both imports and exports it ranks second behind the immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico.

This interconnectedness extends beyond goods and services, to include foreign direct investment (FDI). For Britain, the US is the largest single source of FDI, whilst the US is also the largest destination for FDI by British firms. Equally, The UK is ranked second as a destination for American companies to invest, accounting for 13% of the total foreign investment by US companies. On Friday (19 October) US giant, Amazon, announced it was creating 1,000 new jobs in the UK.

Many of the companies on the UK delegation were involved in delivering the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, currently in the US for tests with the US F-35 fighter jet. Carnival Corporation and PLC, owner of Cunard’s RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only company in the world to be listed on both the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 indices. Both ships therefore sybolise the breadth and strength of the transatlantic relationship.

David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK and Carnival UK (which owns the Queen Mary 2), said:

“The UK and US have a strength of relationship like few others – based upon freedom, trade and prosperity. 

“With the US being the largest single nation trading partner for the UK, it is logical that we proactively recommit ourselves to boosting that trading relationship and the maritime partnership that underpins it.

“Britain is an island, maritime nation, with 95% of global trade being facilitated by the maritime sector.

“The inaugural Maritime Nations Forum aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth will allow our two nations to think creatively about new opportunities to deepen our partnership and to collaborate. We are looking forward to strengthening our special relationship, and will welcome a US delegation to the UK to join us for the biggest ever London International Shipping Week in 2019.”

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, said:

“The UK and US are steadfast maritime partners, symbolised by the presence of the HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York today.

“My international economic department will continue to work with Maritime UK to encourage investment into our maritime sector, whilst providing a wealth of export support for our hard-working British businesses.”

Julian Clark, Global Head of Shipping at Hill Dickinson, is leading the delegation:

“We are delighted to be in New York at such a key moment in our nations trading history and development, with such a symbolic backdrop. The Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary well and truly demonstrate the breadth and capacity of UK Maritime far better than any brochure or presentation. They also signify our ambition and clear intention to strengthen the transatlantic relationship.

In particular, London and New York, as the two leading financial centres in the world, are connected unlike any other. In meeting with our counterparts here today we are stepping up our dialogue and looking forward to greater collaboration and exchange in order to deliver mutual gain and opportunity.”