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The British government has now launched its plan to turn the United Kingdom into an "exporting superpower".The service sector makes up 79 percent of Britain's GDP, and accounts for some 80 percent of employment in the U.K. economy, compared to just 10 percent for manufacturing. Services were the first to recover after the 2008 financial crisis; and, as of late 2017, the U.K.'s services exports were roughly double its services imports.Exporting services can be much more complicated than exporting goods.If Britain loses its access to the EU single market for services, the competitiveness of its largest sector – along with 80 percent of U.K. jobs – will be at risk.Though there are export markets for services beyond the EU, past global efforts to open them up have generally failed.Thus, the U.K.'s trade strategy should focus on what it will take to win a greater share of those markets.In the U.K., where the largest service exports are in what trade specialists describe as "professional, scientific, and technical services," this implies the need to train, attract, and retain the world's best experts.This is not an opportune moment for Britain to pursue export-superpower status. It can either leave the EU, or it can aim to increase its exports.
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