On Thursday MEPs in Strasbourg are set to adopt their recommendations for the forthcoming EU-US free trade negotiations.
The EU and US together represent about half (47%) of the global economy and 30% of global trade. According to government figures, a free trade agreement between these economic powerhouses could be worth between £4-10bn a year to the UK economy.
South East MEP Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrat European spokesperson on trade, commented ahead of tomorrow’s historic vote:
“An EU-US trade deal would open up and increase economic activity on both sides of the Atlantic. Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament and in government in the UK are concentrating our efforts on pushing for a speedy conclusion of negotiations to strengthen the European economy and bring new private sector jobs into the UK.”
London Lib Dem MEP, Sarah Ludford, European Parliament Vice-President of the Delegation for the relations with the US, added:
“The UK is already the largest single destination globally for US investment, acting as a spring board into the common EU market. We need to shift the focus away from the endless Tory infighting on Europe and get on with creating jobs and growth in Britain by removing barriers with our biggest trading partners. Let’s make the EU work to our advantage.”
After the EU, the US is the biggest foreign investor in the UK, accounting for a quarter of all overseas investments and supporting around a million jobs. In 2012 alone US investment created and safeguarded 37,525 jobs in the UK. Over 50% of the European headquarters of US-owned companies are located in theUK.