Gov. Cox inks trade pact with the U.K.

SALT LAKE CITY – Early this morning, Gov. Spencer Cox met with the United Kingdom’s Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston, and the two men signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU). The agreement is intended to boost trade and investments between Utah and the U.K.

According to the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, U.K. subsidiaries employ over 10,700 Utahns, and exports to the United Kingdom support 38,330 Utah jobs. Utah exported more than $7 billion worth of goods to the UK in 2022 alone.

“We have an excellent working relationship with the British Consulate in Los Angeles and our counterparts in the U.K.,” Cox said. “This agreement will lead to a broader exchange of best practices, government-led missions, private-sector partnerships, academic cooperation and capital investment, and we look forward to the increased collaboration.”

The MOU between the U.K. and Utah is the first to emphasize fintech, as well as aerospace, supply chain resilience, and life sciences. This MOU, the fifth of its kind between the U.K. and a U.S. state, represents a significant development in British commercial relations with Utah.

According to the agreement, both sides of the MOU will prioritize deepening economic development and trade cooperation, the creation of a forum to address existing and anticipated barriers to trade, support the growth of critical mineral sectors in Utah and the U.K. through information sharing, increased business links, and R&D partnerships, as well as grow academic and research ties through promoting collaborative projects.

“Our MOU with Utah builds on our existing strong relationship and unlocks new opportunities for British businesses, particularly those in the fintech sector in which Britain is a global leader,” Huddleston said. “The MOUs we have agreed with U.S. states are already helping U.K. businesses grow their commercial links across the Atlantic.”

The agreement will also focus on supporting sustainable economic growth through improved infrastructure, affordable housing, and optimizing education and industry partnerships. Another facet of the deal involves protecting the quality of the environment, and includes conservation efforts to protect natural resources and prevent pollution.

The MOU does not commit either participant to financially support any provision or activity of the agreement. Representatives of Utah and the U.K. will meet regularly to inform and consult with one another on matters of common interest that represent opportunities for mutual benefit.

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