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UK: Trade Secretary to boost transatlantic trade and investment on first US visit

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  • Trade Secretary will use first stateside visit to NY and DC to bolster UK-US trade ties across the breadth of our shared interests
  • Visit builds on recent successes in lifting US ban on British beef and lamb
  • US-owned businesses supported 1.48 million UK jobs in 2019 with 60% outside London and the South East, according to new DIT analysis.

The International Trade Secretary will lay the groundwork for a broad approach to transatlantic trade and investment in her first official visit to New York and Washington DC this week.

From shared strategic priorities on WTO reforms and removing trade barriers such as the recent lamb ban removal, to closer trade ties with individual US states and continued work towards a future free trade agreement, the UK will be looking to take our economic relationship with the US to the next level.

New research published today by the Department for International Trade shows the US has been the UK’s largest single inward investment partner country for the last two decades.

US businesses employed almost 1.5 million people in the UK in 2019, up 74% since 1997. It also shows that 60% of these are jobs now outside of London and the South East, with 179,000 jobs in the North East and North West. Wholesale and retail accounted for 29% of UK employment in US-owned businesses in 2019, followed by 22% in scientific, technical and IT activities.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“We share a thriving trade partnership with the US, which is driving investment into all corners of the UK helping to level up our economy, and create jobs and prosperity.

“From Teesside to Tulsa, there are huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We’ve already made strong progress; from getting British beef and lamb back on US plates, to lowering the cost of Scotch Whisky exports by addressing the long-running Airbus-Boeing issue. Now is the time to hit the ground running and get on with boosting ties with our closest ally.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan will meet senior investors in New York to promote the UK as the world’s most attractive investment destination and follow up on progress made at the recent Global Investment Summit.

She will then be in DC on Tuesday to meet US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and members of Congress to discuss deepening trade ties, our shared approach to tackling market distorting trade practices and practical solutions to drive WTO reform.

Afterwards, the Trade Secretary will meet US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to discuss how trade and investment can support each country’s levelling up agendas, and push for a resolution to s232 steel and aluminium tariffs to support British industry. She will also attend a Women in Trade Roundtable hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce.

The visit offers an opportunity to build support for state-level cooperation that offer significant opportunity to unlock trade and investment wins for UK and US businesses.

Minister of State for Trade Penny Mordaunt will, this week, kick off a multi-state visit – including California, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma – to complement this approach. Minister Mordaunt will meet with governors, local representatives, commissioners and businesses in each state to discuss priority areas for further cooperation, such as services, digital and agriculture.

The UK already benefits from strong ties with US states, and many US states are significant economies in their own right. Together, the economies of the South-Eastern states make the region equivalent to the 8th largest economy in the world, approximately the size of Italy. California’s GDP was over $3tn in 2020, equivalent to the 5th largest economy in the world, and over 126,000 jobs in California are supported by UK companies.

As the two biggest exporters of services in the world, closer ties between the UK and US on a state-by-state level would make it easier for professionals, such as engineers or lawyers, to work across the Atlantic. Going forward, the UK will also seek tailored, MOU-style agreements which will set out areas for future cooperation to deepen our transatlantic trading relationship.

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2023 battle: PDP Governors in emergency meeting Monday

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By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Governors Forum will hold a special meeting on Monday, 17 January, 2022 at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt.

The Director General, PDP Governors Forum, Cyril I.D. Maduabum, said the meeting would review the state of the nation and readiness of the PDP  to provide the necessary leadership to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.

“All the elected PDP Governors are expected to attend the meeting to be presided over by the Chairman of the Forum, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

“The meeting will be preceded by a Gala night to be hosted by the Chief Host, His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

“The PDP Governors are working in concert and consultations with other leaders of the party and in particular the Senator Dr. Iyorchia Ayu led National Executive Committee of PDP to craft a credible process and programme for Nigeria’s positive rebirth.”

He explained that Dr Ayu has been invited to attend the Port Harcourt meeting to hold consultations with the Governors on strategies for executing the rescue and rebuild Nigeria project.

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Rivers LG chairs destroy illegal artisanal refineries

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Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt

Chairpersons of local governments in Rivers have intensified battle against soot menance with raid and destruction of illegal artisanal refiners in some parts of the state.

In Obio-Akpor Local Government Council, George Ariolu, the chairman and some of his officers have uncovered facilities being used for illegal refining and storage of refined products around Ogbogoro and Eligbam communities of the Council.

Ariolu restated that the battle against soot menace is a battle for everyone and not for government alone to tackle, adding that it is a problem for all considering the environmental and health hazard associated with it.

He told journalists at Ogbogoro waterfront that all hands must be on deck in order to combat the menace of black soot in the State.

There was mild drama and altercation between the Police and officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, at site of one the depots, Obio-Akpor local government in presence of LGA boss.

The Chairman later accused some security personnel of aiding and abetting culprits involved in the pollution of the environment through their collaboration.

Ariolu advised the public to align with government and security agencies by relaying relevant information that will aid the arrest culprits, as he described the Ogbogoro Waterfront (former Crushrock) as a major depot for the storage of illegally refined petroleum products in the State.

The Chairman who also found an illegal refined petroleum products dump yard at Rumuolumeni Community (Mgboduohia and Minikpete), condemned the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps for their compromise in the fight against illegality.

He called on the State Government to seal, investigate and arraign owners of facilities used to perpetrate such heinous crimes in the society.

Speaking at a radio programme with Raypower 106.5 fm, the Chairman debunked rumours that the fight against illegal refinery operators in the state is political motivated and targeted at a particular sect and tribe in Rivers State.

In the same vein, the Chairman of Etche Local Government Area, Obinna Anyanwu and his team also discovered and dismantled two oil bunkering dump sites located at Akwa and Odagwa waterfronts boundaries between Rivers and Abia States.

Anyanwu was accompanied by security operatives and members of the Etche Local Government TaskForce/Oil Bunkering to the illegal oil dump sites.

Speaking to Journalists shortly after the raid, the Etche Council Chairman assured that his administration will continue to rid the area off illegal crude oil refiners to ensure safety and healthy environment for the people.

The Etche Council Chairman directed the committee in-charge of oil bunkering to collaborate with the security agencies in fishing out anyone who might be involved in illegal oil refining, including those using Etche as a route to transport their illegal refined products to neighboring states.

Anyanwu who expressed concern over the harmful blanket of black soot across the skyline in Rivers caused by illegal crude oil refining, pledged his full support to Governor Wike’s drastic measures in seeking an end to the soot menace.

Likewise in Eleme local government area an enforcement team was led by the Chairman, Obarilormate Ollor in company of security personnel, Eleme Youth Coordinator, Prince N. Okereke,the Chief Security Officer, Brain Gokpa, Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman on illegal bunkering and artisanal mining Mr Chika Alale Oluji stormed some illegal Bunkering sites.

Our Correspondent reports that seven refining points as well as two fully loaded oil badges were discovered and destroyed.

However,beside depots, no illegal refining sites were found at the time of the operation and no arrests have been made.

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Shonekan’s death major loss to Nigeria, private sector -Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the late head of Nigeria’s Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, was highly consequential as a leader in the private sector who impacted economic policy in Nigeria.

This is as he described Shonekan’s demise as a major loss to the country.

Osinbajo stated this on Sunday when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late head of the Interim National Government, in Lagos.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement he signed late Sunday titled ‘Shonekan was consequential as private sector leader, his death a major loss, says Osinbajo’.

The Vice President who visited in company of his wife, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, was received at the Ikoyi residence of the Shonekans by the late ING head’s widow, Margaret Shonekan, and the son Adeboye Shonekan.

Osinbajo described Shonekan’s death as “a very major loss for the country and for the private sector and even internationally.

“Here was a man who made an impact. He was one of the very first leaders in the private sector to shape economic policy in Nigeria, and his role in that respect was very significant.”

During the visit, the Vice President also signed the condolence register thus: “We bless the name of the Lord for the excellent life of service to the country and to God, of our leader and father  Chief Ernest Shonekan, GCFR.

“We are proud of his contributions to the shaping of the modern Nigerian economy while being a leading light in the private sector. And for his statesmanship and leadership of the country at a time of great uncertainty in our nation.

“His integrity, legacy and high value service will remain evergreen in our memories. We pray that the Lord will comfort the family and may his memory be blessed forever. Amen.”

The Vice President also prayed for the family of the deceased business guru.

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