Coalition Encourages Bolstering U.K. Trade Opportunities Through UNITED Act

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Trade

A coalition of nearly 50 food and agriculture organizations is encouraging lawmakers to support the Undertaking Negotiations on Investment and Trade for Economic Dynamism (UNITED) Act. The legislation was introduced as S. 629 by Senators Chris Coons and John Thune. Its companion bill, H.R. 3653, was introduced by Representatives Jim Himes and Adrian Smith. The UNITED Act would provide the President with more authority in negotiating a trade agreement between the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States. Supporters describe the legislation as “a tremendous opportunity” to strengthen trade ties.


“A comprehensive trade agreement with the U.K. would broaden the scope of exporting opportunities for American businesses, strengthen our supply chain resilience, and improve the well-being of our consumers,” the coalition states in a letter to lawmakers. “As organizations representing America’s agriculture industry, we further believe this legislation would bring economic opportunities to American farmers, ranchers, and food producers.”

Signatories of the letter include the California Walnut Commission, American Farm Bureau Federation, California Prune Board, and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The letter was sent ahead of a meeting between President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Last year, the U.K. was the seventh-largest export market for American goods. Supporters of the UNITED Act say that improved trade relations with the U.K. have the potential to provide broad benefits to American ag stakeholders.

The Corn Refiners Association, another signatory of the letter, also recently released a report highlighting inadequacies with U.S. trade agreements. Several other countries such as China, Japan, and Canada appear to be outpacing the U.S. in the development of new trade arrangements.  As an example, the U.S. has only completed or modernized four trade deals since 2010, the European Union has entered into eight. The report emphasizes a more assertive approach to increase trade opportunities to keep up with other global competitors.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West