By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED MAY 29, 2022 | UPDATED MAY 31, 2022
“They said a US trade deal couldn’t be done. It can. We are doing it.”
That declaration by UK Minister of State for Trade Policy Penny Mordaunt is the headline on a piece she wrote on a partisan website to celebrate signing an agreement with the US state, Indiana.
But is it a “US trade deal”?
- It is not with the “US”, but Indiana — a state with 2% of the US population (at 6 million slightly more than Yorkshire or Scotland), less than 2% of the US economy (GDP), and less than 1% of its area (ranked 38th of the 50 US states)
- The actual “trade” content is minimal, when compared with what governments usually sign in trade agreements
- “Deal” is misleading since this is not the conclusion of anything. It’s a memorandum of understanding (MoU) — or joint statement of intent — on future cooperation and on what future talks will cover. The way it’s presented stretches the meaning of “agreement” a lot.
The phrase “trade deal” is itself a problem.Continue reading “Milestone or inchpebble? The first UK ‘trade deal’ with a US state, Indiana”