The UK’s new Memorandum of Understanding - 30/09/22

The UK has recently signed a second memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US state of North Carolina. This comes after its previous MoU, of which was signed with Indiana (US).

A memorandum of understanding details a non-binding agreement that states each party’s intentions to take action, conduct business transactions, or form new partnerships. MoU’s usually describes projects, agreements, defines scopes and details party’s roles and responsibilities on the matter. But what does this mean for the UK?

The recent MoU with North Carolina continues from the agreement previously signed with Indiana, which looks to tackle unnecessary barriers to trade, cut costs and minimise paperwork so both British and North Carolinian business can work together more efficiently.

Continuing with the countries push for sustainability, this agreement details a boost in collaboration in areas such as clean tech and energy infrastructure by enabling each side to share ideas, skills, knowledge, supporting public and private partnerships and driving capital investment.

Lastly, the MoU aims to target trade barriers with the idea to increase investment and enhance business networks in previously underinvested regions- ultimately supporting the UK’s levelling up agenda- which focuses on providing everyone in the UK equal opportunities, no matter what region.

Minister of State for International Trade, Penny Mordaunt has hailed the US state, stating, “North Carolina is home to some of the US’ most exciting companies – from Honeywell to Labcorp – and was recently named America’s top state for business.

Minister Mordaunt continued to explain the decision, suggesting that the trade negotiations will benefit the whole country, “Our twin-track approach to trade with the US is helping cut bureaucracy, reduce costs and increase exports and investment, and I look forward to seeing UK businesses reap the benefits.

North Carolina already purchases £1.2bn worth of goods from the UK, making the UK their 12th largest export market. In return, this provides the UK with business opportunities in fast growing industries such as automotive, cleantech and manufacturing. This can be seen with British company INEOS Automotive, which has chosen North Carolina as the state to open its American HQ.

The Government hold no signs of slowing down, as there are plans to sign more MoU with states such as Oklahoma and South Carolina in the coming months as part as a state-wide US trade strategy. The benefits of signing these negotiations will show in the coming months and years as UK regions will benefit from increased business opportunities, followed by economic growth.

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