Britain should negotiate trade deals with individual US states as a backstop while Boris Johnson tries to seal a post-Brexit free trade agreement with America, a former trade secretary will say on Monday.
Liam Fox will point out that four US states – California, Texas, Florida and New York – would be members of the G20 if they were independent nations, and that many deals could be struck with states, rather than the US as a whole.
While tariffs on goods can only be negotiated by Washington, deals on services, which account for the majority of Britain’s transatlantic trade, can be sealed on a state level, unlocking billions of pounds of business for the UK economy.
Not really, no. The US Constitution means that the Feds are the people who deal with trade. It’s not so much the over the national borders thing, it’s the interstate trade that they’ve a lock on, the Commerce Clause.
They are serious about this too. Back when FDR was trying to screw things up with the New Deal a farmer decided he’d not like to submit to the Feds telling him how much wheat he could produce or not. So, he said it was only for his own consumption therefore bugger off.
The Feds argued, and the Supreme Court agreed, that if he didn’t grow it then he would buy from some other farmer. Who might be across state lines. That therefore made restrictions upon his growing his own wheat for his own consumption a matter of interstate trade and thus something the Feds got to regulate under the Commerce Clause.
Brits selling insurance in NYC is sufficiently different to get around that, is it?