British maritime leaders will meet with an American delegation aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth at the inaugural ‘Maritime Nations Forum’ between the UK and US. Tony McDonough reports
Industry body Mersey Maritime is in New York as part of a high-powered trade delegation led by Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, Dr Liam Fox.
The British maritime leaders will meet with an American delegation aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth at the inaugural ‘Maritime Nations Forum’ between the UK and US.
The maritime delegation arrives at a pivotal time in the negotiations on the UK’s departure from the EU, following the US administration formally confirming its intent last week to pursue a trade deal with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after leaving the EU.
The trade mission will explore opportunities for the UK to further strengthen its trading and investing relationship with the US.
The UK maritime sector is the fundamental enabler of Britain’s global trade. The sector adds £37.4bn to UK GDP and supports just under 1,000,000 jobs nationally, in the Liverpool city region alone the sector contributes £3.5bn to the local economy and employs more than 28,000 people.
Mr Fox said: “The UK and US are steadfast maritime partners, symbolised by the presence of the HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York today.
“My international economic department will continue to work with Maritime UK to encourage investment into our maritime sector, while providing a wealth of export support for our hard-working British businesses.”
Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, added: “There are already well-established trade relationships between Liverpool and the US, but today symbolises the opportunity to further expand our transatlantic partnerships.
“I am delighted to be part of this critical delegation to the US and represent the interests of the North West maritime industry alongside our members Peel Group and global members Western Union and Cxytera.
“Liverpool already handles over a third of the transatlantic container trade, but there is further potential with the development of the new container terminal; Liverpool2, at the Port of Liverpool, and we are exploring other UK/US investment opportunities to enhance and grow the maritime sector within the region.”