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Chancellor showcases Northern Powerhouse to US delegation

George Osborne hosts a delegation of senior representatives from the US House of Representatives, led by Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

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At the request of the US Ambassador, the Chancellor invited them to the north-west, and to Cheshire, to showcase the plans to build a Northern Powerhouse.

The Chancellor and Speaker Boehner’s delegation will visit the UK base for US analytical science technology company Waters Corporation in Wilmslow. The Chancellor will also host the delegation for a working lunch near Knutsford.

In an ever changing world economy, the continued strength of the US and UK’s economic relationship remains vital. The US is the UK’s biggest export destination, with nearly £90 billion of our goods and services in sold there in 2013 – more than any other country in the EU and up by 25% since 2010. We have over £1 trillion invested in each other’s economies, and over a million people working for each other’s companies. The UK hosts more headquarters of US companies than any other European country.

Now the Chancellor wants to bring the strength of the UK-US economic relationship to bear in building the Northern Powerhouse. The north-west already exports over £3 billion of goods to the US, making it the largest destination for the region’s exports. And last year, the region imported over £1 billion from the US and American companies are planning investments of over three quarters of a billion pounds in the region over the next 3 years. US companies employ people across the region in a wide variety of industries such as finance with the Bank of America and Bank of New York Mellon, manufacturers like General Motor’s Vauxhall at Ellsmere Port, and technology firms like IBM and Quintiles.

To make the Northern Powerhouse a reality, the government has already committed to: £13 billion of investment in transport in the north of England; a further £2.7 billion of new trains; and road upgrades to complement the £50 billion High Speed 2 project. It has also committed to major new science and technology projects like the Sir Henry Royce Institute, Cognitive Computing Centre at Daresbury and the National Graphene Institute. Government is also investing in the vibrant cultural life of the north, including £78 million for the Factory Manchester. It is devolving power to Greater Manchester including the creation of a directly-elected metro-Mayor; and devolving more powers to Sheffield, including over transport, skills and business support.

At Budget, the Chancellor went further still. He announced that Transport for the North will shortly publish an interim report, which commits to build on the concept of HS3 to develop a network of high quality rail connections across the north – the TransNorth vision. The Budget also announced a new devolution deal with West Yorkshire, and made further investments in science, innovation, quality of life and tourism.

Chancellor George Osborne said:

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome Speaker Boehner and his delegation to the north-west to show them how we are building a Northern Powerhouse. The UK and US have an unrivalled historic economic partnership and I want to bring that to bear here in the north. It’s great to welcome the Speaker of Congress to the north-west and Cheshire and to show his Congressional delegation how the investments in transport, technology and culture that we are making here will establish a truly national economy, fit to continue that partnership into the future.

Speaker John Boehner said:

We are truly grateful to Chancellor Osborne for giving our delegation a chance to see first-hand the impressive growth happening in Greater Manchester and the north-west. Our economic partnership with the UK is vital to America’s interests, and whether it’s trade, manufacturing, or energy, there is no shortage of opportunities for us to continue strengthening these ties.

Published 27 March 2015