UK-US Trade Talks: Unlikely to Bear Fruit
Written by Constance Kampfner on 14 mai 2020
Trade negotiations between the UK and the US have officially started. One of the arguments put forward for leaving the EU, was that the UK would have freedom to establish its own trading terms with countries like America.
So is this finally the historic moment? Stryker McGuire, the London editor of Bloomberg Markets magazine, and dual US UK citizen, says we shouldn’t hold our breath:
“A few months ago this was going to be very difficult. A few months ago, very few people thought that there would be a proper free trade agreement this year. Now, I don’t think anybody thinks there could be a free trade agreement this year.
There might be what’s called a ‘mini-deal’, almost like a statement of intent. But it doesn’t really mean very much and it has risks for the UK. For example, such a deal could pull the UK closer to the US in an anti-China stance, then the UK would be eager to go. There are lots of pitfalls for the UK.
For the US, it doesn’t make that much difference. It would mainly be a political deal. There’s an election coming up in November, and Trump has gone on and on about a deal with the UK. A mini-deal would be a step in that direction.”
Although the US is Britain’s biggest solo trading partner, most of the UK’s trade is with Europe. A trade deal with the US runs the risk of agreeing to standards that would make a deal with the EU even harder to achieve.
But despite these delicate talks happening on two fronts, Downing Street clearly wants to show it has options. Tuesday evening, the UK published its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement with Japan.