The United States and the United Kingdom resume negotiations on their trade relationship

British International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and US Trade Representative Catherine Taye pose during a G7 meeting in London on October 22, 2021. afp_tickers

This content was published on Mar 21, 2022 – 12:53

(AFP)

The United States promised “concrete measures to improve trade relations” with the United Kingdom, on the first day of negotiations with its historic partner to deepen bilateral trade.

“I am optimistic and enthusiastic … about how to develop trade relations” between the two countries in the 21st century, US Trade Representative Catherine Taye said in Baltimore, a historic city and port in Maryland where discussions are taking place through Tuesday. ..

Shortly after arriving in the White House, President Joe Biden ended the trade dispute over subsidies for manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.

His government subsequently launched negotiations to end tariffs on British steel and aluminum due to a controversial legacy of the Trump era. Britain’s International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, believes “positive progress” has been made on the issue.

“This will allow us to pave the way for focusing on the next stages of the relationship” between the two countries, he added.

A US official, who declined to be named, said earlier that Ty and Trevelyan would not discuss the merits of the Baltimore dispute.

Tay and Trevelyan said Monday that they will discuss a range of issues, including reducing bottlenecks in global supply chains, decarbonizing their economies, boosting digital commerce and supporting the local workforce, as well as labor rights, an issue the Biden administration is keenly interested in. Importance.

“We seek closer trade and investment relations,” Trevelyan said, noting that the two countries have “deep links at all levels of society, culture, defence, intelligence and economy.”

The United States is the largest trading partner of the United Kingdom. Countries are very interconnected when it comes to services and foreign direct investment.

The total volume of their trade reached about 263 thousand million dollars (200 thousand million pounds) annually.

And the British minister continued, “A million and a half Britons (…) work every day in American companies, and more than a million Americans work every day in British companies.”

– No major immediate agreement –

And these negotiations, which precede other regions “later in the spring”, on a date to be determined, will not lead to a major bilateral trade agreement.

Since the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, London has negotiated agreements in all areas to enhance its international trade and, in particular, strengthen its relations with the United States.

But while the administration of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) was ready to craft a new bilateral agreement and even launch a negotiation process, it appears that Democrat Joe Biden’s government is in no hurry.

“It is important to remember that (trade) agreements are nothing more than a tool at our disposal,” said US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials said that some trade tools designed “several decades ago” are not necessarily well-suited to the global challenges countries face today.

The negotiations are taking place at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is wreaking havoc. The sources said that there will be no announcement of new sanctions against Moscow, although the two sides will raise the issue.

They explained that “many of the sanctions relate to other ministries in the US government.”

The negotiations will also focus on “the many ways in which we can pursue our common interests against Russia and against China,” they said, without providing further details.

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