Andrew Bridgen pens an Op-Ed for The Pavlovic Today on the talks between the UK and the US on a post-Brexit trade agreement.
I am delighted the UK Government has announced that official trade talks with the USA have started this week. The special relationship means that not only is the USA our staunchest ally, but also our biggest single trading and investment partner.
The UK is the single largest investor in the United States. British companies have invested more than $540 billion in the U.S., accounting for more than 15% of all inbound foreign direct investment. The U.S. is also the largest investor in the UK.
With both the US and the U.K. believing that they enjoy a current trade surplus with the other, a U.K.-US FTA seems like a deal made in heaven for both sides.
Current negotiations are building on the years of “ exploratory discussions “ allowed while the U.K. was restricted by EU membership from negotiating its own trade deals. Add to this the political pressure of a Presidential election and perhaps the planets are all aligned for a speedy, successful, and mutually beneficial outcome to the proceedings.
Ultimately if the US and the U.K. can’t agree on a deal with each other now, then it’s unlikely that either of them will conclude a deal anytime soon with anyone else. The Trump-Johnson special relationship could also be crucial with huge political capital at risk for both leaders.
More is also riding on these negotiations for the U.K. which is now bogged down in its trade talks with the EU. The US can demonstrate to the EU and the U.K. domestic audience that all that is needed to complete a trade deal is willing partners on both sides.
Quick progress in these Anglo-US trade negotiations will put huge pressure on the EU and might just break the logjam in the UK-EU talks. It is only when they realize that no deal is an option and we have other markets to explore that they will get serious and now is exactly the right time for the UK to play the Trump card.
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