Americans invite Mayor James Palmer to international gathering in Washington DC that could improve UK/US trade

Mayor James Palmer who is heading to America for an international gathering of mayors.

Mayor James Palmer who is heading to America for an international gathering of mayors. - Credit: Archant

One of America’s most powerful and influential think tanks – the non profit making Brookings Institute – has invited Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer to an international gathering of metropolitan and regional mayors in Washington DC next week.

Mayor Palmer’s combined authority says the conference is aimed at “deepening links between local elected officials in the US and UK and expanding trade and investment between British and American cities”.

The visit, from January 24-26, is being financed jointly between The British Embassy and the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Programme and will include other elected mayors from across the UK.

“As part of the visit, the Brookings Institution will host a public event with keynote remarks from US and UK mayors on promoting economic growth in cities and regions,” said a spokesman for Mayor Palmer. “The British Embassy will launch a series of reports demonstrating the importance of the UK-US economic relationship at the city level.”

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is one of the many sponsors of the Brookings Institute although numerous countries help support its work in helping metropolitan leaders improve their local economies.

The 86th winter meeting of the United States conference of mayors’ will take place at the Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington DC.

Mayor Palmer received an official invitation from the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch, who has put together a delegation of UK mayors as part of a new US-UK mayors network.

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Mayor Palmer said: “This conference is a fantastic opportunity to fly the flag for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on the international stage.

“The devolution agreement that established the mayoral position was quite clear that the post holder should look to stand up for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough not just on the national stage but also the international stage.”

He said: “Brexit provides many challenges but also opportunities and with the exit date looming ever closer I’m keen that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough puts itself in the best possible position to exploit the opportunities that are likely to come our way.”

He said increased opportunities for trade and investment with the United States is a big part of this.

“We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most prosperous and economically dynamic parts of the country and this trip enables us to press the case for better and deeper trading links with cities across the United States,” he said.

Mayor Palmer said that last October, Greater Cambridge welcomed a delegation from San Diego to an event marking the official announcement of a new research facility at the Babraham Research Campus.

“The trip made clear the strong potential there is for closer collaboration between Cambridge and San Diego,” he said. “The mayor of San Diego is one of the many US mayors that I will be meeting with whilst in Washington.”

The UK delegation includes Harriet Fear, the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Life Sciences, a former diplomat and ex Chief Executive at One Nucleus.