US 'keen for UK trade deal and further TTIP progress'

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The US is keen to strike a new free trade deal with the UK as soon as possible, while also making progress on the US-EU TTIP deal, according to Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives.

A senior US government official has expressed confidence that the US will be able to sign a new free trade agreement with a post-Brexit UK at the earliest possible opportunity, while also offering a way forward for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan stated during a recent visit to the UK that president Donald Trump is committed to working with the British government to form a new bilateral trade deal, following Britain's imminent departure from the European Union.

In a speech for the Policy Exchange thinktank, Mr Ryan expressed confidence that the UK will be able to come to a post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU, while pledging that the US will offer continued support throughout the separation process.

Mr Ryan said: "This is one of the bipartisan messages I bring with me; I bring Democrats and Republicans here to this room to this country today, to say that the United States stands ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible, so that we may further tap into the great potential between our two people."

During the speech, the senior Republican also said the US remains keen to work closely with the EU to "chart a path forward" for TTIP, a major trade deal developed during the premiership of former president Barack Obama to strengthen trade links between the US and EU.

This pledge represents a change in approach for the Trump administration, which has been vocal in its opposition to multilateral trade agreements thus far. Indeed, one of President Trump's first major acts was to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was seen by many as a counterpart to TTIP.

Progress on TTIP has stalled since Mr Trump took office, but Mr Ryan's comments indicate that this may change.