London begins talks with Washington to secure trade deal

The US Trade Representative is on a visit to Britain on Monday. The British government has been hoping to negotiate a free trade deal with Washington for months. But the Biden administration is in no hurry to get there.

The United Kingdom, which has so far failed to deliver on the promised post-Brexit trade deal with the United States, is hosting US Trade Representative Catherine Tai on Monday and Tuesday for further bilateral talks. The two countries began a series of “transatlantic talks” in late March aimed at bolstering their exchanges, and the British Minister for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, met the US representative in Baltimore on the east coast of the United States. Had to meet state.

But if the two capitals managed to settle their dispute over steel and aluminum on occasion, the Biden administration was in no hurry to resume talks for a free trade agreement desired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This time the meetings will be held in Aberdeen, Scotland on Monday and in London on Tuesday. Without mentioning a free trade agreement, British minister Trevelyan assured in a press release Sunday evening that it was a question of “strengthening the commercial partnership” with Washington.

These discussions “give us a platform to explore more modern and digital ways of doing business” and make it cheaper for companies in Scotland and the UK to do business with the United States, she continued. The UK intends to focus discussions on “agreed priorities” with the United States, including digital and innovation, “green” trade, support for SMEs and the flexibility of supply chains.

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Britain’s post-Brexit priority

More measured, Washington indicated last week that these discussions have made it possible to “explore” how the two countries can “cooperate to advance mutual international trade priorities”. Since the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which took effect on January 1, 2021, London has been negotiating all agreements to boost its international trade. One of the priorities of the British was the signing of a bilateral treaty with the United States.

But while Donald Trump’s administration was ready to strike a bilateral deal with London and even hold several talks, the Biden administration scuttled the process. In addition, the United States has entered into a possible settlement in Northern Ireland conditional on strict compliance with the peace agreement. While discussions between the two capitals have made little progress, London is considering entering into individual agreements with 20 US states at the same time, which would not be binding.

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