Ambassador Johnson on Trade Deal with U.S.

Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson

Side by side, we are fighting Covid, protecting our way of life, and creating new jobs and opportunities together. That’s what our countries have been doing together for generations. That’s what we will continue to do, whatever the future brings and that’s what this special relationship is really all about.

November 03, 2020
This article by Ambassador Johnson was published on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 in the Daily Express.

 

Today, the American people are heading to the polls to vote for the next President. As a diplomat, I’ll leave it to the pundits to try to predict the results. But there is one thing I can say with absolute certainty: the UK is America’s single most important partner – no election will ever change that.

The bond between the US and the UK is like no other. The UK is everything America could hope for in an ally. We share a common language and history, with a relationship that goes back 400 years to the pilgrims crossing the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower.

In the centuries that have followed, we have accomplished so much together.

The UK also has the same approach to free trade and free enterprise as the U.S. We are both nations which believe in the power of industry and innovation to drive global progress.

Rapid advances are made every single day and the UK is always at the forefront, home to some of the greatest universities and research institutions in the world. In

fact, the US is the only country in the world which can boast more of the world’s top universities or Nobel prize winners. Together, we are consistently first and second in both categories.

But most important of all in this special relationship, is the fact that our countries share the same fundamental values. Like all Americans, the British people have an enduring and unshakable commitment to human rights, the rule of law and the defence of a free world. We are nations which strive to be a force for global good, and we do so together.

I saw the perfect demonstration of this just recently when I visited HMS Queen Elizabeth. It was about to take part in a Nato exercise off Scotland and from the deck I watched American and British pilots take off and land stealth F35 fighter jets – planes we designed and built together.

It was the special relationship in action.

The level of trust, collaboration and interoperability is something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. And it’s not just important for our own defence, it’s important for the defence of almost a billion people.

The U.S.-UK relationship is at the very heart of the Nato alliance, which remains as critical to our collective security today as it has ever been. It was Nato which got us through the Cold War and the threats we face to our collective security are just as real today.

We have no option but to take them seriously. We cannot afford to underestimate Russia, Iran or China any longer.

Even during a global pandemic, we have seen how little China can be trusted, as the Chinese covered up the spread of the virus and launched one cyber-espionage attack after another against the Western companies desperately fighting to find a vaccine.

The idea that we can then trust China with the critical infrastructure of the free world, whether it’s 5G or nuclear power, is now inconceivable.
Nato countries must stand strong and defend our independence and way of life from any threat, with the US and UK leading the way.

America’s partnership with the UK is not only the bedrock of America’s security, it’s also the bedrock of our prosperity.

Together, our countries trade more than $270 billion dollars (£209 billion) a year. There are a million Americans that work for British companies, just as a million Brits are employed by US firms.

We are the single largest investors in each other’s economies, with well over $1trillion in direct bilateral investment.

And all that has been accomplished just under WTO rules.

We can do even better.

As things stand, US and UK businesses still have a lot of obstacles to overcome.

Brexit offers us our first chance in 40 years to strike a trade deal, remove the obstacles to trade, and jump-start the growth and success of our businesses in each other’s markets.

This has been a tough year on both sides of the Atlantic but the US and the UK are doing now what we always do. We are moving forward, together.

Side by side, we are fighting Covid, protecting our way of life, and creating new jobs and opportunities together. That’s what our countries have been doing together for generations. That’s what we will continue to do, whatever the future brings and that’s what this special relationship is really all about.