The strong links between the Tees Valley and the United States have been praised as mayor Ben Houchen hosted US ambassador Woody Johnson on a tour of the region.
In a packed schedule, Mr Johnson and mayor Houchen visited major US businesses that have a Tees Valley base, including transportation systems firm Cubic, pigment and additive business Venator and energy giant ConocoPhillips.
They also visited the South Tees Development Corporation site in Redcar, where Mr Johnson heard from a major American firm that is in talks to invest hundreds of millions of pounds into the site.
He was also given an overview of the vision for the 4,500-acre brownfield area, which represents the biggest development opportunity in the UK today.
The mayor secured this latest visit with a view to ramping up the discussions surrounding the US investor and future inward investment into the region.
Mr Johnson’s visit to the region comes following his meeting yesterday with the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss MP, to discuss a UK-US trade deal.
Mayor Houchen said: “As a country there is no relationship more important as the one we have with our US friends.
“As a region we have a wealth of US based companies doing fantastic work, investing hundreds of millions of pounds into our regional economy and employing hundreds of local people.
“From Cubic Transportation helping revolutionise the way we travel, to Venator, ConocoPhillips, Caterpillar and many more. But more than that, we have the UK’s biggest investment opportunity in the South Tees Development Corporation site, and I’m working hard to cement new investors, meaning more jobs for local people.
“The strong and enduring links between our two nations will ultimately benefit everyone living here in the Tees Valley.
“As we leave the European Union and step out into the world forging our own independent trading policy, our relationship with the US will become even more important in years to come.
“I am honoured that today I have been able to show Ambassador Johnson what our region has to offer to the world.”
Johnson added: “It’s great to be in Teesside where there is so much US investment in the UK.
“This really highlights what we have always said, increased US-UK trade and investment means more and better jobs and more prosperity for both our countries.”