California-UK After Brexit: Prospects for Partnership Webinar

California-United Kingdom relations following the latter’s exit from the European Union was the  focus of an international virtual event hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

The special guest speaker was Dr. Matt Beech, founding director of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Hull and senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg moderated the virtual event.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020. The following day, the U.K. entered a transition period until December 31, 2020. The day before the U.K. was due to leave the EU Customs Unions and Single Market without a deal, the U.K.-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement was finally signed.

PowerPoint Slides: California-UK After Brexit: Prospects for Partnership (PPT)

Dr. Matt Beech

Dr. Beech provided an analysis of what Global Britain means for future partnerships with the United States and specifically, for trade in California.

His insights into the nascent U.K.-U.S. trade deal and the reasons for strong future cooperation will be of great interest to Californian business leaders and those invested in the Anglo-American relationship.

Dr. Beech is a political scientist and historian who teaches post-war British political history, government and ideas, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts. He has appeared in The Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Guardian, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Le Figaro, Les Echos, The Globe and Mail, and Bloomberg News. He has worked on programs for Sky News, BBC Parliament, BBC Radio 4, Radio France International and CNBC Asia.

U.K.-California Future Relations

For more information on the U.K.’s future relationship with California, please see the CalChamber’s January 12 article featuring commentary by British Consuls General Joe White in San Francisco and Emily Cloke in Los Angeles.

Trade with United Kingdom

Two-way trade between the United States and the United Kingdom was $132.33 billion in 2019 with the U.K. importing goods valued at $69.15 billion, making it the fifth largest importer of U.S. goods.

Top exports to the U.K. were transportation equipment, making up 19%, followed by primary metal manufacturing, chemicals, and oil and gas. The U.S. imported $63.18 billion from the U.K. in 2019. Transportation equipment accounted for 26.9% of the total, followed by chemicals, nonelectrical machinery, and reimports. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

The United Kingdom is California’s 12th largest export destination. Of the more than $5.2 billion in exports in 2019, computer and electronic products accounted for approximately 25% of exports – more than $1.3 billion. Transportation equipment brought in $797 million (15.1%), while both second-hand merchandise and chemicals accounted for 11% and 8.6%, respectively.

In 2019, imports into California from the United Kingdom were approximately $6.16 billion. The top categories were transportation equipment, which made up almost 50% of the total, followed by computer/electronic products, used or secondhand merchandise, and reimports.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.