US ambassador praises Leeds as ‘important city’

an american abroad: US Ambassador Woody Johnson. PIC: Simon Hulme
an american abroad: US Ambassador Woody Johnson. PIC: Simon Hulme
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The American ambassador has given Leeds his endorsement and urged US companies to invest in the “important city”.

Woody Johnson told the Yorkshire Evening Post “the only way is up” for Leeds as he singled out its tech, medical and education sectors for praise.

But he also cast doubt on the prospect of a post-Brexit UK-US free trade deal, saying it was still “unclear” whether it could be done despite Prime Minister Theresa May publishing her Brexit strategy this month.

On a visit to the city, he said: “The business relationship that Leeds has with the US, fintech, hi-tech, medical tech, you have a fabulous, world class teaching hospital here and four universities.

“It’s a blossoming community in a very nice setting.

“I haven’t met that many people but I suspect they are a very well educated workforce, hard workers, perfect place for Americans to invest and to encourage local people to explore expanding into the US, because the US is exploding with prosperity now.

“The stock markets, consumer confidence are off the charts now.”

Mr Johnson went on: “I was very impressed with Leeds, I think this city has so much to offer with the university, the people here the diversity of the community, so you can solve problems in a really, really interesting way.

“The only way I see is up, this community is going to really, really do well, and particularly when we stop talking about Brexit and start talking about prosperity for everybody.”