Formal negotiations between the United States and the United Kingdom began last week with an opening plenary session held remotely due to COVID-19. The opening negotiating round will continue for the next two weeks as both delegations stake out their positions and begin to shape the new agreement. Further rounds will take place approximately every 6 weeks.

“Both parties agree that a Free Trade Agreement would contribute to the long-term health of our economies, which is vitally important as we recover from the challenges posed by Covid-19,” said the two parties in a joint statement following the initial meeting. “An FTA is a priority for both countries and we share a commitment to secure an ambitious agreement that significantly boosts trade and investment. We will undertake negotiations at an accelerated pace and have committed the resources necessary to progress at a fast pace.”

Total two-way trade between the two countries is already worth $230 billion a year. Each country is the other’s largest source of foreign direct investment, with over $700 billion invested in each other’s economies.

There is significant potential for an increase in agricultural and food trade between the two countries in a future trade agreement. Colorado already has a strong relationship with UK companies and diplomatic officials. In particular, for Colorado agriculture and food are opportunities for increasing trade of malted and distilled beverages, high-quality cereal grains, and beef.

Colorado Farm Bureau is already working with UK diplomatic officials to represent the industry and its interests in the coming negotiations and the future trade deal.