It’s official! President Trump is coming to the UK on July 13.

Official portrait of Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson

This op-ed by Ambassador Johnson was featured in the Sun on Sunday of April 29, 2018.

It’s official! President Trump is coming to the UK July 13th. Put the date in your calendar because I guarantee this is a visit you are not going to want to miss. President Trump is not only the leader of the most powerful country in the world. He is the closest friend and ally Britain could ever hope to have in the Oval Office.

The UK has always been special to President Trump. His mother was born and raised here and this country is in his blood. He loves your amazing countryside, your proud history and your deep sense of tradition. He respects your skill in business and industry. But of all the things that make this country great, it is the spirit and resolve of the British people which the President admires above all.

We know that the British can always be counted on to go the distance. When Americans and Brits are together, there is nothing we can’t do. Together we’ve won wars and secured peace. We’ve traded and grown prosperous. We’ve made incredible scientific breakthroughs and unimaginable leaps in technology. It doesn’t matter whether times are good or times are bad, when America and Britain stand together, we are at our very best.

No one understands that more than President Trump. On his mission to make America great for ordinary men and women, he wants Britain by our side making the same journey. When he appointed me his Ambassador, he was clear: our goal is to bring America and Britain closer than ever before.

Our alliance has already been unrivalled for decades and decades. Today our Armed Forces are so interoperable, we can just swap crews on each other’s planes. Our intelligence agencies work very closely, side by side.

It’s exactly the same story when you look at our economic partnership. We are so close we invest more in each other than in any other country – over a trillion dollars’ worth of investment. American businesses choose Britain for their headquarters. British companies head Stateside to start their global journeys. And together we create millions of jobs – almost 50,000 in my home state of New Jersey alone.

But the President is right to want to take our special relationship to another level. For starters, there is huge potential to do more business together. President Trump has slashed tax and regulation and unleashed the full power of American industry. As a business man, he understood what needed to be done to get businesses investing – and more importantly, hiring.

The American economy is now booming in a way I’ve never seen before. Investment and jobs are flooding back. Factories are opening up once again. Business and consumer confidence has never been higher. Now is the time for British companies to break into America’s huge market and grow their businesses like never before.

The future is full of opportunity for trade. When the UK cuts loose from the EU, you will have the option to sign trade deals with countries around the world. Of course, this will be dependent on the final agreement the UK strikes with the EU. But if there is room to negotiate a trade deal, no one would be more enthusiastic than the President. President Trump has supported Brexit from the outset. He has made it clear he would love to sign a deal. And he would never let America’s best ally wait at the back of the line.

He would also never desert Britain in your hour of need – just look at how we responded when the Russians launched their nerve agent attack on British soil. But Russia is not the only threat. Despite all the signs that our pressure is starting to pay off, North Korea remains a significant threat. We’ve also seen rising aggression from China and Iran. We’ve seen the inhuman use of chemical weapons. We’ve seen the devastation caused by international terrorists and criminals.

Now is not the time to let our guard down. America and Britain must strengthen our joint military defense. We must lead NATO forward. We must invest in the latest equipment for our troops. We must fortify our cyber defenses against the hourly onslaughts of our adversaries.

So this visit by the President is very important for both our countries. History has shown that there is no greater alliance. But our alliance is as necessary today as it has ever been. Having President Trump as such a close friend and ally at this time could not be more important.