International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is expected to meet her US counterpart Robert Lightizer in Washington on Monday for the third round of talks to reach a trade deal between the two countries. Prime Minister Boris Johnson put an agreement with the US at the heart of his plans to revive the British after Brexit, and Ms Truss’s decision to travel during the coronavirus pandemic highlights London’s willingness to broker a deal. The Department for International Trade said in a statement: “The Secretary of State is meeting Robert Lighthizer during a critical time in the negotiations and it is essential we agree the next steps and priorities for the trade talks.
“A deal will be a key driver in leveling up the UK by boosting the economy by £15billion and removing almost half a billion pounds worth of tariffs.”
Despite Ms Truss’ visit, the talks have been beset by disagreements and Mr Lighthizer said a deal is “unlikely” to happen this year.
In a recent entry for the London School of Economics (LSE)’s blog, Dalibor Rohac, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, provided an analysis of the negotiations.
Mr Rohan claimed the great fanfare around the US-UK trade agreement creates expectations that almost certainly will not be met.
He wrote: “While the Trump administration is looking for an easy deal and a symbolic gesture, it stands little chance of getting through the current House of Representatives, or being upheld by a Biden White House.”
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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss
The upcoming US presidential election is due to take place on November 3 and could further complicate negotiations over a US-UK trade deal.
Joe Biden, Mr Trump’s Democratic rival, is said to be against the landmark free-trade agreement between the two nations.
His position on the matter is not exactly known, but Democratic Party leaders have been much more lukewarm on Brexit than leading Republicans.
Moreover, according to Mr Rohan, Mr Biden is more likely to reopen negotiations for the TTIP with the EU instead.
He wrote: “Meaningful trade agreements require difficult compromises on both sides, upsetting interest groups.
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Joe Biden, Donald Trump’s Democratic rival
“That is not what the incumbent administration is after.
“With the announcement that the agreement ought to be completed in a year, everything suggests that President Trump is looking for an easy, purely symbolic gesture which furthermore stands no chance of getting through the current House of Representatives.
“A prospective Biden administration, meanwhile, would be ill-advised to tie its hands with a UK trade deal before a return to some version of updated TTIP negotiations with the European Union.”
Mr Biden advocated for the TTIP when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice-president
However, negotiations were halted by President Trump when he took office, who then initiated a trade conflict with the EU.
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Mr Trump and Brussels declared a truce of sorts in July 2018, resuming talks that appeared similar to the TTIP.
In April 2019, though, the European Commission, headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, described the negotiations as “obsolete and no longer relevant”.
Mr Juncker has since been replaced by Ursula von der Leyen.
The US and the EU together represent 60 percent of global GDP, 33 percent of world trade in goods and 42 percent of world trade in services.
There are a number of trade conflicts between the two powers, but both depend on the other’s economic market and disputes only affect two percent of total trade.
A free trade area between the two would represent potentially the largest regional free-trade agreement in history, covering 46 percent of world GDP.
Source Daily Express :: UK Feed