An exploration of the trade relationship between the UK & the US


British pop band, The Who, performed in Kansas City, MO, and St. Louis, MO during their 25th reunion tour in 1989.

Three of the four presidents on Mt. Rushmore, a monument located in South Dakota, have British ancestry.

Rugby, the national sport of Wales, has expanded in the U.S., and the NCAA rugby championship is held every year in Pennsylvania.

British explorer, navigator and cartographer, Captain James Cook, achieved the first European contact with the Hawaiian Islands.

Colorado has a rugby club named the Denver Barbarians, which is sponsored by Old Bushmills distillery located in Northern Ireland.

American white oak barrels can only be used once to make Kentucky Bourbon. After the bourbon is removed, they are shipped overseas where they are reused to make...

British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has opened up a new restaurant in the Paris Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.

Scottish native Sean Connery starred in the movie The Untouchables, which was filmed in Kansas.

British BMX rider Shanaze Reade won her first women's professional race in 2007 in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1970, English golfer Tony Jacklin won the U.S. Open at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

The only professional cricket stadium in the United States is located in Florida. Cricket is the national sport of England.

Live and Let Die starring Roger Moore, a British native, was filmed in Louisiana.

Mount Rainier, named after British soldier Peter Rainier is the highest point in Washington.

Popular Scottish pop band Texas named itself after the 1984 movie Paris, Texas, which was set in Texas.

Captain John Mason named New Hampshire after Hampshire county of England, where he grew up as a young boy.

In 2011, New Mexico hosted the Albequerque International Balloon Fiesta, and Britain's David Hempleman-Adams and Jonathan Mason finished in first place.

New York exports more non-manufactured goods to the UK than any other US State.

The third most populous city in Arkansas' Lonoke County is named England.

Anheuser-Busch, a brewery company based out of St. Louis, Missouri, first introduced Budweiser beer to Great Britain in 1984.

Hawaii is the only US state to feature the Union Flag of the United Kingdom on its state flag.

Georgia was named after King George after he granted the right for Georgia to become a colony in 1732.

New Jersey was named after the island of Jersey in the English channel.

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Rich History

Britain and America have long had one of the world’s closest trading and investment relationships. Learn about its history with our interactive timeline.

Here & Now

With one trillion dollars in investment and $214 billion each year in trade, the UK-US economic relationship is one of the largest and most important anywhere.

Opportunity Awaits

America is a land of opportunity for British business in just about every sector. Find out more about future prospects here.

Rich History

Science Breakthrough

Watson and Crick reveal the structure of DNA. The Cambridge University scientists built on earlier work by American scholars like Oswald Avery, who showed that DNA carried genetic information.

Defence Collaboration

Britain and the US sign a Mutual Defence Agreement. The Agreement, one of the world’s most comprehensive nuclear weapons cooperation treaties, is still in force today.

Space Innovation

Ariel 1 is launched from Florida. Jointly funded by the US and UK, it was the first international satellite ever launched, and carried experiments designed at University College London.

Trade Relationship

UK/US trade passes $100 billion. Ten years later, it doubles to over $200 billion.

Mutual Investment

UK/US investment in each other’s economies passes $500 billion. Ten years later, it would be almost double this figure.

R&D Collaboration

Britain and the US sign the Combating Terrorism Research and Development Memorandum of Understanding, facilitating research and development collaboration that has resulted in millions of dollars of mutual trade and investment.

R&D Collaboration

Britain and the US sign the Force Protection Improvised Explosive Device Memorandum of Understanding, facilitating research and development collaboration that has resulted in millions of dollars of mutual trade and investment.

Defence Treaty

The US/UK Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty comes into effect. The Treaty reduces barriers to trade in defence equipment between the two countries, ensuring that our troops get the best equipment in the quickest time.

Environmental Collaboration

UK and US agree to collaborate on developing floating wind turbines. Both governments will make funding available to develop the turbines, which will be used in deep waters.

Here and Now

Today, the trading and investment relationship between the US and the UK is one of the largest and most important in the world, with almost one trillion dollars invested between them in each other’s economies. British businesses employ around a million people in the United States, and American companies employ around a million in the UK, making our two countries by far each other’s largest foreign job supporters.

British-American trade was worth $214 billion in 2012, and continues to grow despite challenging economic conditions. The US is the largest single destination for British exports, and the UK is America’s largest export market in the EU. Transportation equipment, metals, chemicals and computer and electronic products are America’s most valuable goods exports to the UK, but we also trade extensively in services, particularly tourism and financial and business services.

On this interactive trade map, you can drill down into the detail of our trade and investment relationship by looking at British investment and trade across the United States.

Recent news feed

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Tomorrow, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver the UK government’s...

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For me, the transatlantic relationship is personal. 16 years ago on Sunday, my family and I (and our dog Matty)...

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Last month, Ambassador and Lady Westmacott hosted a reception to celebrate the Bloomingdales GREAT...

Opportunity Awaits

  • Headline About Future Opportunity

    The United States is a land of unparalleled opportunity for UK investment and commerce. Its economy, the world’s largest, is also, like Britain’s, among the most hospitable to foreign trade and investment. British businesses have been taking advantage of this mutual commitment to openness and prosperity for decades, investing almost half a trillion dollars in the US economy and building up a trading relationship worth $214 billion in 2012. UK exports to the US increased by $2 billion from 2011 to 2012, despite continued economic uncertainty.

    As this makes clear, Britain already heavily invests in and trades with the US. But such a large, diverse and open economy provides plenty of further opportunities. Here are just four examples of sectors that are particularly ripe for UK investment:

  • Medical Devices

    Americans spend around $95 billion on medical devices every year, and overall healthcare spending is estimated to increase by more than two thirds over the next seven years. Now more than ever, advanced treatments and technologies are in high demand, and an ageing population will only increase the need. The UK’s medical technology companies, with a combined annual turnover of £15 billion ($24 billion), are well-placed to meet this demand. They are especially strong in orthopaedics and wound care, two areas which are set to grow as the population ages.

  • Mobile IT

    The United States is already one of the most connected societies in the world, and its appetite for faster and more sophisticated mobile communications is set to increase even further. The UK is well placed to supply technology for smart mobile devices, with particular strengths in telecommunications and microprocessors. British companies, many of them based in tech clusters like Tech City in east London, are also developing the apps to power the smart devices of the future.

  • Petrochemicals

    New technology is enabling oil and natural gas trapped in shale formations—rock found in loosely-packed layers close to the surface—to be extracted. Over the past three years, this has led to the announcement of at least seventeen new multibillion-dollar petrochemical projects across the United States. Many British firms are already involved in these and similar projects, and with the UK’s longstanding strength in manufacturing extraction equipment its investment is set to grow.

  • Renewable energy

    The US is in the midst of a transition to a low carbon economy, and that transition is generating huge opportunities. Municipalities, states, ports, the private sector and the military are all increasingly seeking to develop and incorporate new technologies and services to help them achieve cost savings, energy efficiency, CO2 reductions and sustainable profitability. British companies, which are among the best in the world, already have an impressive track record of supplying clean energy infrastructure, technology and consultancy services in the United States.

  • Past
  • Present
  • Future