United Kingdom Trading Partner Portal

Trading Partner Portal: United Kingdom


 CalChamber Issues Statement on Brexit Vote
CalChamber, June 24, 2016

Trade Overview

The United Kingdom is a unitary state composed by the countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The UK is a part of the European Union and partakes in EU economic policy, although it maintains the pound (£) as its national currency, instead of adopting the euro (€).

Two-way trade between the United States and the United Kingdom was $129 billion in 2018 and was the fifth largest importer of US goods with a total value of $66.228 billion. Top exports to the UK were transportation equipment, making up 23%, followed by primary metal manufacturing, chemicals, and computer/electronic products. The U.S. imported $60.8 billion from the UK in 2018. Transportation equipment accounted for 25.6% of the total, followed by chemicals, non-electrical machinery, and reimports. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

The United Kingdom is California’s 11th largest export destination, with over $5.2 billion in exports. Computer and electronic products accounted for approximately 31.3% of exports – more than $1.63 billion.  Transportation equipment brought in $652 million, or 12.5%; while both chemicals and second-hand merchandise accounted for 8.7% and 7.3%, respectively.

In 2018, imports into California from the United Kingdom were approximately $5.5 billion, with the top categories being transportation equipment, which made up almost 50% of the total, followed by computer/electronic products, non-electrical machinery, and beverage and tobacco products.

Investment Overview

Per the US Department of Commerce, the U.S.-UK investment relationship is the largest in the world, valued at over $1 trillion in 2016 and creating over two million jobs, about one million in each country.

The UK is the entry market into the European Union for over 41,000 U.S. exporters. Annual U.S. exports to the UK are valued at more than $100 billion.

British investment is key in the US. Over a million Americans go to work every day for British companies. Similarly, one million Brits go to work for America companies every day. British investment is specifically vast in California where it supports approximately 90,000 jobs in our state. (British Consulate General – SF, 2012)

In 2017, by country of ultimate beneficial owner, the second largest investing country into the U.S. was the United Kingdom investing over $40.9 billion. (BEA)

UK FDI into the U.S. in 2017 totaled $540.9 billion, while FDI from the U.S. into the UK totaled $747.5 billion. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

UK FDI in the US contributed $7.9 billion to research and development and an additional $43.1 billion to expanding US exports. The top industry sectors for British FDI in the US are: business services, software and IT services, financial services, communications, industrial machinery, and textiles. Select USA

In Southern California, the number two country for FDI through foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) is the United Kingdom. UK FOEs in Southern California provide over 63,000 jobs through over 1,100 firms. This amounts to $3.6 billion in wages. The top sectors of British FOEs are leisure and hospitality, transportation warehousing and utilities, retail trade, manufacturing, and professional and business services. (LA Business Journal, V. 40 No. 21, 2018)

Administration Announces Intent to Open Trade Talks with EU, UK, Japan
CalChamber, October 18, 2018

The Ideal U.S.-U.K. Free Trade Agreement: A Free Trader’s Perspective
CATO Institute, September 18, 2018

Readout of the 3rd Meeting of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group and the 1st Meeting of the U.S.-UK SME Dialogue USTR, March 23, 2018

The United States and the United Kingdom held the third meeting of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group on March 21-22 and the inaugural meeting of the new U.S.-UK Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Dialogue on March 20.

The Working Group, established in July 2017, works to deepen current trade and investment ties between the two nations and is laying the groundwork for a potential, future free trade agreement once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.  The Working Group discussions covered a range of topics, including industrial and agricultural goods; services, investment, intellectual property rights and enforcement; regulatory issues related to trade; and small and medium-sized enterprises

The inaugural meeting of the SME Dialogue brought together more than 100 U.S. and UK SMEs with government officials from both countries to discuss ways to deepen trade and investment and enhance SME cooperation, identify resources currently available from both governments to assist SMEs, and hear from SMEs on their specific challenges and opportunities when trading bilaterally.  At the Dialogue, the U.S. and UK governments jointly released the guide to Doing Business in the U.S. and UK: Resources for Small Business as a key tool for SMEs seeking to benefit from U.S.-UK trade.

Priorities for a New EU-UK Economic Partnership
US Chamber of Commerce US-UK Business Council, September 2017

UK-US Trade and Investment Highlights
Gov.UK, March 2017

Brexit Explained: What’s Next on the UK’s Road Out of the EU
The Sacramento Bee, March 14, 2017

Official Document: Trade and Investment for Growth
Published by the British Government, February 2011

UK Carbon Trust Support for business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies.


California - UK Trade

California – UK Trade

The United Kingdom is a vital trading partner for California, and has been for decades. The United Kingdom is California’s 9th largest export destination. In 2016, California exported over $5 billion to the United Kingdom—more than most states.  (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Computers and electronic products make up the largest export, making up just over 25% of the total. Transportation equipment exports increased by over $100 million in 2016 to a total worth of $774.4 million.  Exports in transportation equipment currently make up 14.2% of total California exports bound for the United Kingdom. Chemicals and used second-hand merchandise are also strong sectors that make up 8.9% and 7.4% of total exports, respectively. (U.S. Department of Commerce)


According to an October 2015 report by Visit California, 686,000 people visited California from the UK in 2014, spending $905 million.

Characteristics of travelers from the United Kingdom to California – 2014
Visit California



CalChamber Luncheon Focuses on Understanding Brexit

Dr. Matt Beech, founding director of the Centre for British Politics, senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley.

(April 25, 2019)  Brexit is the latest phenomenon in the western world presently characterized by shock and schism, a leading scholar explained yesterday at the California Chamber of Commerce.

“Brexit is the most profound crisis that Europe has had since the end of the Second World War,” Dr. Matt Beech, senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, told nearly 100 guests at the CalChamber International Luncheon Forum. The luncheon was sponsored by Suburban Water Systems, a CalChamber member.

Dr. Beech provided attendees with an analysis of the potential implications for the United States and specifically, trade in California, with Britain’s potential withdrawal from the European Union.

 Meeting with New British Consul General

Andrew Whittaker and Susanne Stirling
Andrew Whittaker (left), British Consul General,  and Susanne Stirling, CalChamber Vice President of International Affairs.

(November 3, 2016) Today, CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg and Vice President of International Affairs Susanne Stirling met with Andrew Whittaker, the new British Consul General based in San Francisco.

British Consul General Priya Guha Provides European Trade Insight to Californian Business Leaders

(December 4, 2015) CalChamber Council for International Trade hosts International Breakfast Friday, December 4, featuring British Consul General Priya Guha and GO-Biz Deputy Director of International Affairs Brian Peck. Consul General Guha provided insight on California relations with the U.K. and Europe, as well as information about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Brian Peck gave a brief update on the international activities of GO-Biz. Alert Story

CalChamber Hosts New British Consul General

Pictured (from left): Allan Zaremberg, President & CEO, CalChamber, The Honorable Priya Guha, Consul General, British Consulate General, San Francisco, Susanne Stirling, Vice President, International Affairs, CalChamber, The Honorable Robin Newmann, Vice Consul,British Consulate General, San Francisco

(January 19, 2012) Trade and investment were among the topics of discussion when the CalChamber hosted a meeting with the new consul general of the United Kingdom. Consul General Priya Guha was appointed to San Francisco in August 2011. She has responsibility for a seven-state area consisting of Northern California, Washington State, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Northern Nevada.

London’s Lord Mayor Addresses CalChamber

Pictured (from left): Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber President (seated,) The Honorable Alderman Gavyn Arthur, Right Honorable Lord Mayor of the City of London (standing,) The Honorable Peter Broom, Deputy Consul General, British Consulate General, San Francisco (behind Arthur,) Roger J. Baccigaluppi, President, RB International/Former CalChamber Chair (seated,) Katherine Kimura, President, British American Chamber of Commerce (seated)

(August 7, 2003) Alderman Gavyn Arthur, the Right Honorable Lord Mayor of the City of London, speaks at a California Chamber International Luncheon Forum about London’s position at the core of international finance, globalization, European Union-U.S. trade, corporate governance and the Euro.


British Ambassador Meets with CalChamber President

Pictured (from left): Sir David Manning (left), British ambassador to the United States, Allan Zaremberg, CaChamber President

(December 4, 2003) Sir David Manning, appointed as the British ambassador to the United States on September 2, visited with California Chamber President Allan Zaremberg yesterday as part of a stop in Sacramento to meet with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state leaders. Topics raised during the meeting between the Ambassador and Zaremberg included the current political and economic climate in California, trade relations between Great Britain and the United States, and the considerable British investment in California and its significance to the state’s economy.