UK and US government representatives will meet business leaders from the East Midlands this week to discuss boosting trade to the US through the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Local MEP, Emma McClarkin and East Midlands Chamber* will host a roundtable breakfast with Trade and Investment Minister Lord Maude, Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Small Business, Christina Sevilla, and local companies, at Nottingham-based patent and trademark attorney Potter Clarkson.
The delegation will then travel to the headquarters of environmental and waste management firm Chinook Sciences for a tour of its control and command centre.
Firms from the East Midlands exported goods worth £2.2bn** to the US in 2015.
Lord Maude said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the Midlands Engine. This is why we are engaging with local businesses on TTIP and helping them untangle fact from fiction.
“Many East Midlands businesses, like Chinook Sciences, are keen to increase trade across the Atlantic. The EU-US trade deal will open doors and cut red tape for companies in the Midlands to do just that. A successful trade deal could boost the UK economy by £10bn each year.”
Christina Sevilla said: “I look forward to hearing directly from Nottingham and East Midlands-based small businesses about their experiences in the US market, and to discuss ways that TTIP can help UK and US small and medium-sized businesses to reduce costs, save time, and unlock transatlantic opportunities with new customers, suppliers and partnerships.”
Diane Simpson, the Chamber’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The US remains a key, and growing, market for many exporters across the East Midlands. The proposed TTIP has the potential to make it even more accessible through cutting tariffs and breaking down regulatory barriers to allow firms on both sides of the Atlantic to trade more freely.
“This event is all about outlining the potential benefits and opportunities TTIP would bring and giving East Midlands businesses the opportunity to input into this important policy area.”
Emma McClarkin MEP said: “I am a passionate believer in opening trade opportunities for East Midlands businesses and have been championing the case for an agreement with the US in the European Parliament, the UK’s single largest export destination, in particular for SMEs who find it particularly difficult to navigate their way around non-tariff barriers to access the US market, and vice-versa.
“It is fantastic to have business representatives here to make their case for TTIP, but also for them to tell us what they’d like to see from a potential deal, so that we can feed it back into the negotiating process.”
Ian Harrison, UK Trade & Investment’s Regional Director in the East Midlands, said: “TTIP will make it easier for businesses in the EU to access a market of more than 300 million American consumers by reducing the number of regulations that currently inhibit trade activity.
“In particular, small businesses will find it easier to export because of lower trade tariffs, smoother customs processes, lower trade costs and access to US public procurement markets.
“Over the past five years, the USA has been the top trading partner for East Midlands businesses with exports totaling some £13.9bn. We believe this figure could grow significantly on completion of TTIP.”
Harry Perry, Technical Director at Chinook Sciences, said: “Since 1998 we have grown to become the world leader in our sector, building award-winning technology which turns waste into energy and recovers all valuables from the waste.
“We have renewable energy plants right here in the Midlands and also operate in the USA. We welcome a EU-US trade deal which cuts red tape and makes it easier to operate across the Atlantic.”