The deputy head of mission of the British Embassy is in Austin this week trying to raise support for a free-trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union.
At the Texas Capitol today, the official, Phillip Barton, said he and the United Kingdom want to make sure the deal is as comprehensive as possible.
“The thing that the U.K. and Texas share is partly around values, open and free societies, but it is also about having economies open and free trading,” Barton said. “And if we can have an agreement, it is going to be good for us and it is going to be good for Texas.”
Barton said reaching an agreement could take up to two years.
Citing a report from the Perryman Group, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, says the deal could result in 166,000 new jobs in Texas and billions of dollars for the state’s economy. McCaul says this agreement already has the support of President Obama and both parties in Congress.
“Rarely do you have those elements coming together,” McCaul said. “And yet we are all coming together on this. I think it’s very important for the long-term interest of the United States, both economically and from a national security standpoint.”
McCaul adds that this would be the largest trade agreement the United States has entered into.