Chris Shirling-Rooke is joining officials from the UK Government and Maritime UK for the mission to Washington DC and will be a voice for Merseyside’s £4bn maritime sector. Tony McDonough reports
Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke this week joining a major maritime trade mission to the US with the UK’s post-Brexit transatlantic free trade deal high on the agenda.
Attending as the representative of Liverpool city region’s £4bn powerhouse maritime sector, Mr Shirling-Rooke will join up with colleagues at Maritime UK and the UK Government on November 19 to 21.
The mission will focus on the UK-US Maritime Nations Forum, which was first held in New York last year aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth and will this year take place in Washington DC. The forum will celebrate the strength of UK-US relations and explore further areas for collaboration, specifically covering developments in each respective national maritime sector.
There will also be discussions around key areas for negotiation in a future UK-US free trade agreement and what opportunities exist for enhanced collaboration and best practice sharing.
Mr Shirling-Rooke said: “The UK has always been an outward looking, forward thinking, global trading nation, not least because our status as an island makes this such a necessity for our economy and has been our driving mission for many centuries.
“As we look to the future of all our trade relationships across the globe, with our departure from the European Union on the horizon, maximising the opportunity of the special relationship between the UK and the US is one not to be missed.
“The strength of that relationship is like few others, being already based on a strong commitment to freedom, trade and prosperity. The Liverpool City Region, with our long and deep maritime history as an entry point for trade and commerce into the country, has meant our area is a natural focus for global trade.
“Well established trade relationships between Liverpool and the US already exist and this trade mission symbolises the unique opportunity presented to further expand our transatlantic partnerships.”
He added that there was already $1 trillion worth of trade between the UK and US, there was an existing platform to build on. He also pointed out that 0% of all containerised goods by volume from North America passing through Liverpool.
“The scope is there for even more investment and growth as a result of building on the already flourishing relationship. Liverpool is the major west-facing port in the country so its no surprise that we’ve seen massive investment in local infrastructure which helps us gear up to maximise and take full advantage of increased transatlantic trade.
“Like the Peel Ports investment of £1bn into Liverpool2 and the significant infrastructure along the corridor between here and Manchester via the Ship Canal. We are well placed to become the go-to region for American investment.”