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American Shipper

UK appoints North American trade commissioner

United Kingdom International Trade Secretary Liam Fox appointed Antony Phillipson to serve as the nation’s trade commissioner for North America.

   United Kingdom (UK) International Trade Secretary Liam Fox on Monday appointed Antony Phillipson, UK director-general of international trade for North America, to serve as the nation’s trade commissioner for North America.
   The news comes in the midst of the UK revamping its trade personnel structure in preparation for Brexit, and a host of trade deals expected to be negotiated after the country regains full economic autonomy.
   Fox appointed Phillipson, also currently the UK’s consul general in New York, as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America, and Crispin Simon as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia.
   The appointments follow last week’s appointment of Richard Burn to work in the position of UK trade commissioner for China. Other commissioners will be selected shortly, according to a press release from the UK Embassy in Washington.
   All the new UK trade commissioners will closely cooperate with UK ambassadors, the country’s wider diplomatic network, and other UK government colleagues based in countries in their region “in a joined-up and coordinated government effort overseas to promote UK trade and prosperity,” the press release said. The UK is due to leave the EU by March 29, 2019.
   “Our HM Trade Commissioners…will have more autonomy to do what works best in their region to improve trade with key markets of the future,” Fox said in a statement. “Antony and Crispin bring a wealth of in-country knowledge and expertise to their new roles, alongside an extensive network of contacts in North America and South Asia – two key growth markets where British companies already have a well-established presence.”
   The U.S. is the UK’s largest trading partner and biggest export market, composing 14.5 percent of all UK trade and over 18 percent of UK exports in 2016, the press release said.
   Fox and his colleagues will visit the U.S. and India in the next few weeks, where they will meet with the new commissioners.
   In addition to North America, South Asia and China, UK trade commissioners will cover the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the “eastern Europe and central Asia network,” the release said.

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