BRITAIN must carve out a new global trading role for itself as part of a new, rapidly-changing European Union, an industry leader said today.
CBI director-general John Cridland outlined the importance of securing a ground-breaking European Union-US free trade agreement to generate long-term UK growth and boost the flat domestic economy.
He called on politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to seize the moment during the first 100 days of President Obama’s second term, to create a long-lasting economic legacy – and not risk looking back with regret in four or five years’ time.
The CBI says such a deal would eliminate tariffs, liberalise goods and services, harmonise regulation, promote investment and set benchmark standards for trade in the 21st century.
Mr Cridland said the UK could not afford to miss out on opportunities to use the EU to help rebalance the economy towards exports and create new trade deals based on its world-class reputation – in particular in financial and professional services, pharmaceuticals, and creative industries.
The CBI says that while the EU and US have relatively open economies, there are obstacles to trade, such as tariff costs and mismatched regulations, which lead to significant costs to firms on both sides.