The prospect of a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the US is not guaranteed, but talks are well underway between the two partners, officials from both countries said as they reached an agreement new round of talks aimed at strengthening transatlantic investment.
The United Kingdom and the United States, held Monday and Tuesday in Scotland and London bilateral discussions on their trade relationship and promised to continue to dialogue.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and her US counterpart Ambassador Katherine Tai said they discussed ways to further strengthen the £200 billion trade partnership during their two-day talks in Aberdeen and London.
It comes as progress has been stalled on a post-Brexit trade deal, with the government focused on making deals with individual US states in a bid to help UK businesses.
If Tai, questioned at a press conference in London on Tuesday, refused to completely rule out the idea of a free trade agreement desired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, such a treaty does not seem to be the priority of the Biden administration.
“We have new discussions planned for later in the spring, which will be focused on the topic of SMEs,” announced, for his part, Trevelyan in front of the journalists.
In a joint statement, London and Washington detailed the themes of the forthcoming discussions: in addition to aid for international trade for SMEs, there are in particular support for supply chains and collaboration on food safety or the environment.
“The purpose of these discussions is to explore how we can bring together our strengths and synergies in the face of the changes, dynamism and fluidity of the global economy”said the US representative during the press conference.
Britain is expected to sign its first economic pacts with the United States next month and strike a deal with Texas by October, Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt told the House of Commons last week.
The talks this week were intended to pave the way for further engagement with the United States, including ongoing work at the state level and the removal of trade barriers.
Trevelyan said the talks involved a “very large series of proposals and requests and philosophical discussions about what kind of concrete action we should all take to further strengthen this relationship between the UK and the US“.
She noted that countries were working together to support small and medium enterprises, as well as young women and minority groups who are building businesses, developing worker-centric policies, strengthening supply chains and focusing on trade. digital and green.
Since Brexit, the United Kingdom has notably concluded trade agreements with the EU and other European countries but also more distant countries such as Australia – the latter is controversial in particular on competition from beef and meat. Australian lamb- and discussions are underway with India or Canada.
EU and UK negotiators had agreed on the terms of the trade and cooperation agreement on December 24, 2020. To limit disruption, the agreement has applied provisionally since January 1 2021 and until April 30 of this year.
To enter into force permanently, this agreement must be approved by the European Parliament in plenary.