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Second Round of UK-U.S. FTA Negotiations Concludes; Round Three Expected this July

The second round of the UK-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations continued by video conference from 15-26 June 2020, building on the positive and constructive talks to date and covering a range of chapters.

During the round, talks advanced across a number of these chapters and there was good progress on a dedicated SME chapter. This included agreement that the next formal UK-U.S. SME Dialogue will be held in Boston in October 2020.

Unleashing the potential of small businesses to thrive through trade is a crucial part of the U.S. and UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The UK is committed to signing an FTA that benefits all types of business, big and small.

Both countries recognize that hurdles to exporting are often greater for smaller businesses than for larger businesses. Currently 87 percent of UK businesses exporting to the U.S., and 81 percent of the businesses importing from the U.S., are SMEs.

UK negotiators also underlined the importance of high ambition on services, including on financial services. On professional business services, both sides agreed to go further than existing precedent and agree provisions that reflect the strength of the bilateral relationship.

Round three of the negotiations is expected to take place in July. Both sides will continue to engage in intersessionals ahead of that formal round, including on rules of origin, market access, digital, telecoms, intellectual property and business mobility.

Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss issued a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament earlier today with more details on the chapters covered in this second round of negotiations.

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