Utah has become the next individual state in America to sign an MoU with Britain over strengthening trade ties. George Frey/Reuters

Today Britain has agreed to a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US state of Utah, regarding trade growth between the pair.

Utah had an impressive GDP worth £201 billion last year and that is identical to the economy of New Zealand.

This latest trade pact between Britain and a US state is the fifth of its nature to occur and will be signed off by Nigel Huddleston, the International Trade Minister, and Spencer Cox, the Governor of Utah. Currently, Britain has MoUs signed with the US states of Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Oklahoma, so it can aid the development of companies by providing connections to new commercial collaborators.

Also, Britain is in active negotiations with other states in the US including Florida, Texas, Colorado and California to ensure trade agreements are strengthened in those territories.

Britain's trading relationship with Utah is already strong so this agreement will only build on the trade ties between the two and ultimately ensure the government meets its priority of growing the economy. This will arise from frameworks being built for British companies to have export opportunities, investment will be encouraged plus jobs will be created in Britain.

British companies based in Utah currently employ over 10,000 workers and in 2022 exported £219 million worth of goods, with this amount set to be increased thanks to the MoU being signed. Last year, Britain was Utah's largest export market for international goods as the US state exported goods worth £5.7 billion to Britain.

The MoU signed with Utah is the first of Britain's trade pacts with any US state to put forward fintech as a priority sector, with this occurring as Britain is an international hub for fintech. The trade agreement also highlights cooperation over aerospace, with Britain currently employing over 100,000 staff in the industry, to encourage development in areas such as small satellites as there is shared expertise there.

The International Trade Minister spoke positively on the trade agreement, stating: "Our MoU with Utah builds on our existing strong relationship by helping us unlock new opportunities for British businesses, particularly those in the fintech sector in which Britain is a global leader."

The trade deal will also allow for more joint efforts over supply chain resilience and that includes critical minerals. This will arise with Utah being the best source for critical minerals within the US market whilst the critical minerals strategy on British soil can be supported by the trade pact.

Clayton Walker, Chief Operations Officer of Rio Tinto Copper, which is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, expressed his delight over the MoU agreement. He said: "We are excited to see this relationship strengthening through the signing of this MoU, as we continue to find better ways to provide the critical minerals that the world needs to make our modern everyday life possible."

Collaboration over life sciences will also take place as per the trade deal with it already having been a successful industry in Britain due to generating a turnover of £94 billion in 2021. Additionally, the MoU agreement will ideally offer greater market access to government procurement and recognition of professional qualifications in order to allow Britain and Utah to provide services in one another's locations.

The Utah Governor offered his thoughts on the trade agreement with Britain, hinting at what lies ahead. He commented: "We have an excellent working relationship with the British Consulate in Los Angeles and our counterparts in the UK. This agreement will lead to more exchange of best practices, government-led missions, private-sector partnerships, academic cooperation and capital investment."

Another key matter regarding Britain's trade pact with US states is occurring in Manchester today as Exports Minister, Lord Offord and The Rt Hon Sir Conor Burns MP are holding a meeting with a business delegation from North Carolina under the MoU which was signed last year. The delegation is set to include over 20 senior officials, academic administrators and economic developers from North Carolina.

Also set to be in attendance at the meeting in Manchester include members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and British industry representatives.

The meeting will centre on potential collaboration in areas including future mobility, workforce development and advanced manufacturing. This will allow for automotive, clean energy and aerospace British businesses to grow their ties to North Carolina as well as successfully obtain procurement contracts and increase trade growth levels.

Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, spoke on the forward steps its state is taking with Britain. He pronounced: "It's positive that North Carolina is building upon our relationship with the United Kingdom by working with the Manchester, Liverpool, and Wrexham to identify economic development opportunities across our shared priorities of clean energy and transportation."

Cooper plans to return the favour, stating: "We are grateful for the hospitality and look forward to hosting our friends from the UK in North Carolina."