A Snapshot: UK-US Trade Relations

By Haroon Faqir
© Len Radin/Flickr

Haroon Faqir


Building on our UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory, we have collated a snapshot of the relevant information pertaining to UK-US trade relations, including ongoing trade negotiations between the nations.

Period: Four quarters to the end of Q2 2021 (unless specified otherwise)

  • Rank as trading partner (goods and services):
    • Largest trading partner (accounting for 16.7% of total UK trade)
    • 2nd largest goods trading partner (accounting for 10.8% of UK goods trade)
    • Largest services trading partner (accounting for 27% of UK services trade)
  • Rank as export market:
    • Largest export market (accounting for 21.2% of total UK exports)
    • Largest goods export market (accounting for 15% of UK goods exports)
    • Largest services export market (accounting for 28% of UK services exports)
  • Rank of import market:
    • Largest import market (accounting for 12.2% of total UK imports)
    • 4th largest goods import market (accounting for 8.1% of UK goods imports)
    • Largest services import market (accounting for 25.2% of UK services imports)
  • Total trade in goods and services: £201.6 billion (decrease of 9.3% or £20.6 billion from previous year)
  • Total UK exports to USA: £126.4 billion (decrease of 9.9% or £13.9 billion from previous year)
  • Total UK imports from USA: £75.2 billion (decrease of 8.1% or £6.6 billion from previous year)
  • Outward stock of FDI (2019): £379.7 billion (25.3% of the total UK outward FDI stock)
  • Inward stock of FDI (2019): £381.6 billion (24.5% of the total UK inward FDI stock)

For further information, visit DIT’s Trade and Investment Factsheet for USA.


Latest News about UK-US Trade:

  1. UK and Israel to sign trade deal (28/11/21): https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/nov/28/britain-and-israel-to-sign-trade-and-defence-deal
  2. Omicron variant creates biggest stock market slump in a year (27/11/21): https://www.ft.com/content/8df04124-c8e7-4c30-b4da-082ea635f308
  3. UK attempts trade deal with individual US states (11/11/21): https://www.cityam.com/uk-to-try-and-close-trade-deals-with-individual-us-states-after-white-house-talks-stall/ 
  4. US trade deficit hits $80.9 Bn (04/11/21): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/washington-commerce-department-china-b1951428.html 
  5. UK government welcomes US steel statement (31/10/21): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-response-to-us-statement-on-steel-and-aluminium
    1. Nevertheless, UK steel makers feel ‘left behind’ by EU-only agreement (01/10/21): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59113868 
  6. US Oil hits $85 a barrel (25/10/21): https://www.ft.com/content/c05f2254-589b-436b-b468-6e25e43b31ae 
  7. China’s successful testing of hypersonic missile stuns the US (18/10/21): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/china-catches-us-off-guard-hypersonic-missile-test-j79g009x8 
  8. United States overtakes China as bitcoin powerhouse (13/10/21): https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/14/us-leads-world-in-bitcoin-mining-after-china-crackdown-sends-industry-overseas 
  9. US Covid rates drop by 22%, sparking hope worst may be over (11/10/21): https://www.ft.com/content/55a8e7b2-0abb-4eb4-8e82-726dc2ba13e1 
  10. Confidence reflected in $870Bn buyback of stock (10/10/21): https://www.ft.com/content/dd9a7b72-1f9b-4b66-ac75-200d1653ce6f 
  11. Morrisons: Private US equity firm wins £7B bid for UK supermarket (03/10/21):  https://news.sky.com/story/morrisons-us-private-equity-firm-wins-7bn-auction-for-uk-supermarket-12423755 
  12. Boris Johnson urges Bezos to build Rivian electric vehicle plant in the UK (24/09/21): https://news.sky.com/story/johnson-urges-bezos-to-build-rivian-electric-vehicle-plant-in-britain-12416601 
  13. UK bails out American fertiliser company to prevent food supply crisis (24/09/21): https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/22/business/cf-industries-uk-co2-food-shortages/index.html 
  14. Banks fund £230B oil and gas pillaging in the Arctic (23/09/21): https://www.cityam.com/drill-baby-drill-arctic-set-for-230bn-oil-and-gas-bonanza-with-jpmorgan-barclays-and-citi-piling-in/ 
  15. UK to pin hopes on joining US-Canada-Mexico trade deal (22/09/21): https://www.ft.com/content/b519921f-8d14-4948-9afa-f2340b0d25db 
  16. US lifts ban on British lamb (22/09/21): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58654045 
  17. AUKUS: UK, US and Australia form new security partnership (15/09/21): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-us-and-australia-launch-new-security-partnership 
    1. BAE systems set to benefit from deal (19/09/21): https://www.ft.com/content/aa5c9fd5-891b-4680-b3c7-5a55d03f673c 

Haroon Faqir is a Global Leadership Fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative. He is part of the PRPI team behind the UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory, and serves as the lead for the US and Finland.
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