Reuters | 19 April 2023
Britain inks trade deal with Oklahoma, hails architects’ licensing pact
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - British trade minister Nigel Huddleston signed a trade deal with the U.S. state of Oklahoma in Washington on Tuesday, while hailing another accord aimed at easing rules for UK architects working in the United States, the British embassy said.
The trade and economic memorandum of understanding with Oklahoma, signed by Huddleston at the embassy on Tuesday, is the fourth deal Britain has inked with a U.S. state as part of its push to expand trans-Atlantic trade despite the Biden administration’s refusal to negotiate a broader U.S.-UK pact.
Huddleston told Reuters he would meet with Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jayme White in Washington on Wednesday following discussions in London several weeks ago, and both sides continued to work on sectoral advances on the federal level.
"The free trade agreement is something that we’re very keen to do as soon as the U.S. is ready," he said, underscoring Britain’s interest in securing a larger-scale trade agreement with its largest trading partner.
Huddleston said he was also excited about a meeting on Wednesday with industry bodies to welcome a mutual recognition agreement brokered by Britain’s Architects Registration Board (ARB) that will simplify licensing for U.K. architects in over 40 U.S. states and at the federal level, and vice versa.
The deal could increase British services exports to the U.S. by $55 million per year, the ministry said.
The U.K.-Oklahoma pact will focus on boosting green trade, particularly in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), the ministry said. The deal is aimed at boosting the $215.6 million worth of goods British companies exported to Oklahoma in 2022 and generating more jobs for U.K. exporters.
Nearly 3,000 jobs in Oklahoma are supported by exports to Britain and nearly 10,000 people in the state are employed by British companies.
Britain has signed memorandums of understanding with three other U.S. states - Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina - and remains in discussions with other key states, including Utah, Texas and California, Huddleston said.
"The states, of course, are very important in the U.S. economic structure and political structure," he said. "We recognize that we can do a lot by working with the states as well as the federal level, so we’ll keep the dialogue going."