The United Kingdom was the second-largest export market for New Jersey in 2019, according to statistics provided by the British consulate in New York. The value of those exports totaled $4.5 billion and supported more than 20,000 jobs here. In addition, nearly 41,000 state residents were employed by U.K. subsidiaries in 2018. The numbers paint a picture of an important economic relationship, one both sides seek to maintain.
So it was that Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the U.S., traveled to New Jersey in May to meet with Gov. Phil Murphy and state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-3rd District. Pierce and the governor talked about trade, action on climate change and the pandemic response, among other subjects. For this edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with Pierce about the meeting, the importance the relationship between the U.K and New Jersey and the role diplomats can play in rebuilding strong manufacturing supply chains.
“You need diplomacy to help negotiate those supply chains and have confidence in them and as part of the G-7leaders’ discussions, they will be talking about this issue,” she said. “We set up an economic resilience panel with experts. to look at these sorts of issues — what’s the right balance of getting access to the equipment you need, what’s the right balance of being able to share vaccines with the rest of the world and give the developing countries what they need.”