The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has begun a three day visit to the USA today (Monday 23 June), starting in New York, to promote greater trade and investment between the USA and UK.
To support and back US-UK trade the minister will meet with a number of successful British businesses based in the US.
While in New York he will meet with Walkers, Scotland’s largest food exporter.
The family owned and managed company is based in Aberlour in the Scottish Highlands, and employs 1,500 people in its 6 bakeries. Walkers produces award–winning shortbread biscuits, worth some £130 million annually, and exports to over 80 countries, including the US.
The minister will also go to Washington DC, where he will meet with Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business headquartered in London.
Diageo owns some of the world’s most famous Scotch whisky brands and accounts for around 35 percent of Scotch whisky production. The company employs more than 2,000 people in the US which is Diageo’s largest market and also the world’s largest export market for Scotch whisky.
These companies are just two successful examples within one sector from £135 billion (over $200 billion) worth of annual US-UK trade in goods and services.
The US is the UK’s largest trading partner, and the latter is one of the former’s most significant European trading partners. The economic ties between the US and UK are deep and diverse with total investment between the two of £600 billion ($1 trillion) which supports one million jobs in each country.
While in New York and Washington DC, the Chief Secretary will also meet some existing US investors to hear about their investment plans and what more can be done to make the UK an even better location for investment.
Speaking in New York, Danny Alexander said:
I am delighted to see first-hand so many British companies successfully trading out here and giving American consumers more choice in everything from shortbread to whisky.
The support of the UK government on trade exports is helping these Scottish products to thrive here in the US.
Deepening the trade bonds between the US and UK is in the interests of both countries and will mean more jobs and growth for all.
The government is committed to increasing trade and investment between the UK and the US. Last year UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) staff across nine cities in the US worked with several thousand UK and US businesses on transatlantic trade and investment. UK firms were supported through a range of services including UKTI led delegations to trade shows, exporting webinars, meet the buyer events and bespoke market research services.
UKTI works in partnership with other investment partners to attract and safeguard investment into the UK. Last year there were 396 US investment projects which created over 12,000 new jobs.