For the second year running, Mersey Maritime will join a major maritime trade mission to the United States of America between 19 and 21 November 2019. Organised by Maritime UK and HM Government, the mission will focus on the UK-USA 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, discussion around key areas for negotiation in a future UK-US Free Trade Agreement and what opportunities exist for enhanced collaboration and best practice sharing.
Ahead of the mission, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, writes:
“The United Kingdom 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 United States already exist and this trade mission symbolises the unique opportunity presented to further expand our transatlantic partnerships. Liverpool, as both a major port city and one of the great powerhouses of the United Kingdom, is well placed to be a leading partner and gateway to both facilitate and drive growth. I know from speaking with our members that they are in no doubt about the commitment of our country to build collaborative industrial partnerships with our great American friends and want to play their part in this. The presence of Mersey Maritime and our partners on this trade mission will help develop the strengths we have on both sides of the Atlantic and cements our reputation as a facilitator of successful relationships wherever the opportunity exists.
“We know it really matters when you take a moment to consider the scale of the opportunity. With over $1 trillion worth of trade between our two countries already, and almost 40% 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 £1 billion 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.
“Whilst the focus of Mersey Maritime is primarily on the needs of our member businesses in the local context, we recognise and value the importance of maximising and utilising international opportunities too. Our overall aim as an organisation is to help businesses succeed and to ensure their ambitions are realised as effectively as possible. This trade mission provides a valuable opportunity to promote the UK offer to as broad an audience as possible, and further showcase what the Liverpool City Region has to offer. Breaking down barriers to trade and investment and engaging in conversations to facilitate collaboration are the principles that underpin our day to day to work, such as through our International Trade Forum and the conferences we organise to promote trade and export as key opportunities for our sector businesses. That’s why we are in Washington and we look forward to a really successful and productive visit.”