The United States’ trade relationship with the United Kingdom is strong. Trade between the two nations is worth $207 billion and U.S. investment in the UK far exceeds that of other trade giants like China and India. Recently, The Telegraph reported that the economy in the UK is steadily improving as large firms are gaining ground and the housing market is getting better. This map from the British Embassy shows the impact of the trade relationship between the U.S. and UK. You can see how each state exports millions of dollars to the UK annually. Maine, ranking as the 39th state in the U.S. in terms of its size, accounts for $128 million dollars in exports to the UK. The most common exports to the UK from Maine are computer and electronic products. This makes Maine a contributing factor as electronic equipment also ranks number 5 on the list for Top 10 US Exports to the UK. The top 3 US imports from the UK are oil, machines, and vehicles. Imports into Maine have been growing over the last four years. The growth over half a decade has been substantial as shipments to Maine companies more than doubled from 2006 to 2012, going from 14,463 to 29,888 recorded last year, according to ImportGenius.com. As of December, Maine’s unemployment rate of 7% ranked number 28 on the list among states according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, Maine has a project in the works that would employ hundreds of workers and help its economy grow millions of dollars annually for the next two decades. A research and development project to implement floating turbines off Boothbay Harbor is currently in negotiations, according to the Bangor Daily News. These turbines will create electricity for greater energy efficiency and could lead to innovation for offshore energy projects to expand across the globe. Maine will also get an economic boost as a new agreement to work with Eimskip, a shipping company based in Iceland and operating in 17 countries altogether. Container cargo service in the state’s largest city of Portland will be reinstated as of March, as reported by Bangor Daily News. According to Import Genius data, this shipping line appears in over 10,000 records and has brought in anywhere from 1,400 to over 2,000 shipments annually over the last five years. The contract between Eimskip and the Maine Port Authority means that a container cargo ship will stop in Portland every 2 weeks, something the city’s exports and imports can certainly benefit from after going without that service for nearly a year now. So what does this mean for expanding Maine’s trade possibilities? Simply put, Maine will become better connected to Europe and Canada. Goods will be more quickly transported between North America and Europe. Service to Portland will replace service to Norfolk. In 2012, Norfolk received hundreds more shipments from Canada and tens of thousands more from Europe than did Portland, so this arrangement may help to close that gap. Import Genius shipping records show that Eimskip provides logistics services to other major companies like Allied Transport System Inc., International Freight Systems, and OEC Freight. The U.K. is anticipating the possibility of a free trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union. Given that America’s largest trade partner in the EU is the United Kingdom, the new agreement could mean increased gross domestic product for both parties. Along with putting an end to these tariffs, the agreement could also boost employment numbers and help with the massive national debt. Reuters reports that a free trade agreement would mean linking with four countries (Germany, France, Britain and Italy) that rank among the top 10 economies. With the U.S. being the world’s largest economy, all parties could benefit by putting this issue at the top of the agenda this year.