By Antony Phillipson,  @AJPhillipson

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Pittsburgh for the first time and saw first-hand that the economic relationship between Pittsburgh and the United Kingdom is thriving – with the UK being Pittsburgh’s fourth largest export market in 2016.

My visit came just a few months after I took on my role as British Consul General in New York and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for North America.

As Consul General, Pittsburgh is an important part of my Consular “patch,” as we like to say, which covers New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Fairfield County, CT. As Trade Commissioner, I am responsible for leading the U.K. government’s work promoting our trade, investment, and economic interests across the U.S. and Canada, and leading the U.K.’s Department for International Trade (DIT) in North America.

The United States is a huge priority market for the U.K. It is our largest single export market and we are the largest investors in each other’s country. This bilateral partnership is worth over $200 billion a year and has created one million jobs on each side of the Atlantic.

In 2016 alone, Pittsburgh-area companies exported $80 million of goods to the U.K. and $290 million of services. Adding to this, U.K. firms support more than 2,200 jobs in Pittsburgh.

When I was in Pittsburgh, I took the opportunity in many of my meetings, including with the Pittsburgh Technology Council, to highlight a report we commissioned that summarizes the trade and investment links between the Congressional Districts of Pittsburgh and the United Kingdom. Another report gives a snapshot of the city of Pittsburgh, providing a breakdown of goods and services exports, estimated U.S. jobs tied to those exports and other data points.

The bottom line is that the U.K. is a major export market for Pittsburgh goods and services, which support thousands of jobs in the community, and U.K.-headquartered firms are among the leading foreign investors in this region.

In 2016 alone, Pittsburgh-area companies exported $80 million of goods to the U.K. and $290 million of services. Adding to this, U.K. firms support more than 2,200 jobs in Pittsburgh.

The list goes on, but a few of the major British employers in the area include Aon Hewitt, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce Nuclear Services, and Sarclad N.A. They are prime examples of the important U.K.-U.S. relationship in key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, professional services, energy and metals, just to name a few.

The trade and economic relationship between the U.K. and U.S., and with Pittsburgh, is also one we’re keen to see grow in size and scope over the coming years, as we seize the opportunities of leaving the EU.

The U.K.’s Department for International Trade works with businesses to break down barriers to trade and investment and help business grow and succeed. We have set up a Trade and Investment Working Group with the U.S. Government to map out this agenda. It looks ahead to a future trade agreement, which my Prime Minister and President Trump have made clear they wish to pursue as soon as possible, as well as developing other commercial opportunities. 

In short, we are determined that Britain should remain the U.S.’s partner of choice to do business. The U.K. Government is paving the way for future business and innovation, recently announcing an Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal, bringing together investments from businesses, academic institutions and the U.K. Government to promote and foster an innovative environment for emerging AI.

As we look ahead to a new era of trade and our future outside the EU, we will be strengthening trading ties around the world, especially with the U.S.

I am really looking forward to my next trip to Pittsburgh. I want to continue to engage with the Pittsburgh business community and further develop the economic ties between this great city and the U.K.

If you are interested in learning more about DIT and how it can help your business export or grow into global markets, please read more about DIT’s services or contact a trade advisor in your area.

For those not familiar with the U.K.’s Department for International Trade (DIT) or The British Consulate General New YorkThe U.K.’s Department for International Trade is a specialized government department responsible for promoting U.K. trade across the world while attracting foreign investment to the U.K.’s economy.The British Consulate General in New York maintains and develops relationships between the U.K. and the USA. Services involve handling a wide range of political, commercial, cultural, security and economic interests related to the U.K. and our region.