United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss announced in a statement the formal launch of trade agreements between the two countries.

Because of the ongoing global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the first round of negotiations will be conducted virtually, with U.S. and UK negotiators engaging in discussions over the next two weeks in nearly 30 different negotiating groups covering all aspects of a comprehensive trade agreement.

The US negotiating team will be led by Dan Mullaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East. The UK negotiating team will be led by Oliver Griffiths, Director for US Negotiations at the Department for International Trade. Over 200 staff from U.S. and UK government agencies and departments are expected to take part in the negotiations.

An opening plenary will kick off the detailed discussions, followed by multiple virtual meetings from Wednesday  May 6 to Friday May 15.  The negotiations build on the work conducted through the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group, which was established in July 2017, partly to lay the ground work for these negotiations.