Heritage Expert Testifies Before Congress on US-UK Free Trade Agreement


Heritage Expert Testifies Before Congress on US-UK Free Trade Agreement

Feb 2, 2017

Nile Gardiner is an expert on the United Kingdom and the European Union Photo: Steven Purcell

This week the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held its very first congressional hearing to discuss a transatlantic trade deal with the United Kingdom since the Brexit vote.

Chairman Ted Poe, R-Texas called on Heritage Foundation expert Nile Gardiner as one of three witnesses to testify on “Next Steps in the Special Relationship: Impact of a US-UK Free Trade Agreement.”

Gardiner, an expert on the United Kingdom and the European Union, is the Director of the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.

In his opening statement, Gardiner said Britain’s decision to exit the European Union will  provide the United States with an immense opportunity to strengthen its partnership with Great Britain.

A U.S.-U.K. free trade deal should be a foreign policy priority in the the Trump Administration, Gardiner said.

“Such an agreement between the world’s largest and fifth-largest economies would significantly advance prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. It would be a force generator for economic liberty through genuine bilateral free trade based upon the principles of sovereignty and economic freedom.”

Gardiner suggested that President Trump move quickly on pursuing a U.S.-U.K. trade pact.

Unlike the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a bilateral U.S.-U.K. trade pact will not implement import regulations or increase big government.

“The free trade deal should be implemented within 90 days after Britain leaves the EU, which is expected to be by the end of March 2019. The overriding goal should be to sign the best deal possible by then.”

Gardiner said a deal is expected to be conducted “very, very swiftly” and predicted that it will be struck within the two year period before Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union.

“They do not have to wait until Britain exits the European Union, you cannot of course implement such a deal until Britain leaves the deal in March 2018, but you can do all of the discussions and negotiations ahead of Britain's exit.”

Britain’s exit from the EU will strengthen the partnership between Great Britain and the United States, and “a free trade agreement will be at the very heart of that alliance,” Gardiner said.

Heritage Foundation experts frequently testify on Capitol Hill at hearings concerning the most pressing public policy issues affecting America.