Express | 19 November 2018
Trump’s ready! US offers UK this ’important step’ in bumper post-Brexit trade deal
By Alahna Kindred
The Office of the United State Trade Representative has submitted a request to Congress for members to begin discussing what kind of deal they want to propose to the UK. The request reads: “The Administration’s aim in negotiations with the UK is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve free, fair, and reciprocal trade. “The President intends to commence negotiations with the UK for a US-UK Trade Agreement.”
It goes on to outline specific details of what the official negotiations will look like.
The report lists discussion topics such as “the economic costs and benefits to US producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and removal or reduction of non-tariff barriers on articles traded with the UK, measures or practices that undermine fair market opportunities for US businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers and product-specific import or export interests or barriers”.
The hearing on these topics is not until January 2019, two months before the UK is due to leave the European Union.
However, the early preparation on Washington’s part has been praised by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.
He tweeted: “We welcome the steps that the US Trade Representative is taking so we can begin negotiations for a new Free Trade Agreement once we leave the EU.
“We’re analysing our public consultation responses and we’ll set out our approach before negotiations begin.”
It comes as former Brexit Secretary David Davis claims Donald Trump is ready to starts talks on a free trade deal with the UK “immediately” after Brexit.
Mr Davis spent several days in Washington talking to "US Government Trade and Treasury officials" last week and said Mr Trump’s administration was open to starting trade talks.
He tweeted: "I have spent the last few days in Washington talking to US Government Trade and Treasury officials encouraging a free trade deal with the UK. Excellent response.
"They have already started on the procedures to allow negotiations to start immediately once we leave the EU in March.
"This will not be possible if we accept the Government’s proposed deal with Europe, which will block every avenue of negotiation with America.
"We have to have a Canada+++ deal to allow us to have a free trade deal with America."