chapter  5
25 Pages

The Anglo-American economic relationship: Special or not?


Thomas Carlyle may have been correct and it probably is the dismal science, but economics matter, and economic relations between the US and Britain hugely so, though surprisingly little attention has been paid to them.1 From a purely quantitative perspective, as we shall see in due course, they might even warrant the accolade special, but there is not always a necessary link between quantity and quality. Furthermore even quantitatively their economic relations do not have the kind of importance that they once had and whatever quality remains globalisation and the pull of regional arrangements, both of which tend to degrade the importance of bilateral relations, could conceivably impoverish rather than enrich them. So, what might one make of Anglo-American economic relations? What kind of quality do they have and might they indeed be special? If they are: What makes them so and since when? Do they continue to be special and what has in the past and might in the future, in addition to regionalisation and globalisation, challenge that quality?