Thune introduces bipartisan bill to spur U.S.-UK trade negotiations

The President of the United States would have authority to enter into a comprehensive trade agreement with the United Kingdom under bipartisan legislation cosponsored by U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

“Now is the time to strengthen our economic and strategic relationship with the United Kingdom in order to create new opportunities for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” Sen. Thune said. “A comprehensive free trade agreement with the U.K., one of our closest allies, would reduce costs for consumers, improve supply chain resilience, and open new markets for U.S. producers.” 

The Undertaking Negotiations on Investment and Trade for Economic Dynamism (UNITED) Act, S. 629,  which U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) sponsored on March 2, also would require the administration to work closely with Congress throughout the process to ensure that any agreement advances congressional trade policy priorities, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Thune’s office.

“This bipartisan bill marks an important step toward a strong and hopefully long-standing trade agreement with the world’s fifth-largest economy,” added Sen. Thune, “and it serves to advance the historic and special relationship between our two countries into the 21st century.”

According to the text of S. 629, the United Kingdom, like many key trading partners of the U.S., is actively negotiating for expanded access to foreign markets, including through both new bilateral agreements and existing regional agreements, and the U.S. should likewise seek to advance its access to foreign markets to ensure that businesses, consumers, farmers, ranchers, and workers in America are not left behind.

“This bill demonstrates bipartisan congressional support for restarting negotiations with the U.K., and would pave the way for a trade deal that sets ambitious international standards for our shared priorities on climate, labor protections, digital trade, intellectual property rights, and many other areas,” said Sen. Coons.