UK and US begin remote trade deal talks

Brexit | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Remote discussions towards a new trade deal between the UK and US have begun.

Representatives from the UK and US are meeting remotely to discuss a post-Brexit trade deal that both sides have called 'ambitious'.

Britain's international trade secretary Liz Truss and US trade representative Robert Lighthizer formally opened talks yesterday (May 5th 2020) in a video call, with official negotiations to begin today.

The meetings will last for two weeks, but further rounds of discussions will be scheduled every six weeks. Should the coronavirus pandemic continue and movements still be restricted, the meetings will again be conducted remotely.

Both sides have begun to lay the foundations for a new deal, with the UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group already having met six times prior to this week.

Ms Truss said the UK is eager to get an agreement in place to help both economies "bounce back" from the negative effects of COVID-19.

"We want to strike an ambitious deal that opens up new opportunities for our businesses, brings in more investment and creates better jobs for people across the whole of the country," she added.

"As we sit down at the negotiating table today be assured that we will drive a hard bargain to secure a deal that benefits individuals and businesses in every region and nation of the UK."

Mr Lighthizer commented that he wants to see a deal that can "strengthen our economies, support good-paying jobs and substantially improve opportunities for trade and investment between our two countries".

Both the UK and the US have already been laying out their terms for a trade agreement after Britain leaves its transition period that will see it permanently separated from the EU.

The US wants greater access for its farmers to British markets, as well as fewer restrictions on pharmaceutical products.

Meanwhile, the UK's objectives include addressing goods and services trade, digital trade, investment and better support for SMEs.

Last year, US president Donald Trump's then-national security adviser John Bolton said Britain would be at the 'front of the queue' when it came to negotiating new trade agreements.