St. James’s Palace
London, United Kingdom
9:43 A.M. BST
PRIME MINISTER MAY: Well, good morning everyone and thank you very much for joining us today. And a very special thanks to His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, for hosting us here today at St. James’s Palace. And it’s a great pleasure to welcome leaders of so many world-class companies at the table today, and, of course, our honored guest, President Trump, who knows a thing or two about business himself, as well.
But I think the range of companies that we see around this table shows us the huge scope there is over the transatlantic business links that we have between the United States and the United Kingdom.
And the numbers, I think, just show that; they speak for themselves. Our trade between our nations last year worth almost $240 billion. We see that British companies employ a million — I think we’ve used this figure before — British companies employ a million citizens in the U.S. And every morning, a million people here in the UK go to work for American companies here in the UK.
And it’s a great partnership, but I think it’s a partnership that we can take even further. Of course, that’s with a good bilateral trade agreement —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.
PRIME MINISTER MAY: — but also, I think, building a wider economic partnership for the future as well, and working together and continuing to work together in underpinning, shaping, and influencing the global economy, the rules on which that’s based, and its institution because we believe in keeping markets free, fair, and open, and keeping our industries and our businesses competitive.
And I think there are huge opportunities for us to seize together in the future, and challenges for us to work together to tackle on, as well. And the opportunity today is that we’re going to be able to look at how we do both of those.
Now, in a few moments, I was — I will ask Sir Roger Carr to start the discussion. But, first of all, I’d like to ask you, Mr. President, if you would like to open with your thoughts.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, Prime Minister. I appreciate it. I very much appreciate the relationship we’ve had. It’s been outstanding. And I guess some people know that; some people don’t. But you and I know it. But it’s been, really, a very good relationship and I appreciate it very much.
We are your largest partner. You’re our largest partner. A lot of people don’t know that. I was surprised. I made that statement yesterday, and a lot of people said, “Gee, I didn’t know that.” But that’s the way it is. And there’s an opportunity — I think a great opportunity — to greatly enlarge that, especially now, in light of what’s happening, to tremendously enlarge it and make it a much bigger trading relationship.
So we’re going to be working on that today and even a little bit tomorrow and probably into the next couple of weeks. But I think we’ll have a very, very substantial trade deal. It’ll be a very fair deal. And I think that this is something that your folks want to do, my folks want to do, and we want to do. And we’re going to get it done.
I’d just like to congratulate you on having done a fantastic job on behalf of the people of the United States, and it’s an honor to have worked with you. And I don’t know exactly what your timing is, but stick around. Let’s do this deal, okay? (Laughter.) Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
9:47 A.M. BST