United Kingdom to start U.S. trade talks this week with Trump

Marco Green
May 5, 2020

The UK's International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer will lead the negotiations.

March data is expected to show the first uptick in the trade deficit since December 2019, to $44.2 billion, as countries across the globe and several U.S. states begin to ease pandemic-related shutdowns and reopen their economies.

Jeff Emerson, the spokesman for the USA trade representative, added: "I can confirm the talks start Tuesday by video-conference".

The U.K.'s primary focus will be on goods, but is also hopeful of boosting trading in digital services.

The U.K. and US will launch talks on a free-trade agreement on Tuesday, Politico reports.

Some 200 officials will participate in the initial two-week round of talks, with subsequent talks scheduled every six weeks.

Regardless of the expected trade deficit increase, today's numbers will likely embolden Washington negotiators to push for a reduction in export restrictions with the UK.

"Securing a U.K. -U.S. free trade agreement can pave the way for stronger economies, and create the potential for better jobs, higher wages, more choice and lower prices for citizens in both our countries", said U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Dame Karen Pierce.

Truss said: "As we kick off trade negotiations this week, we will drive a hard bargain that benefits every part of the United Kingdom and works for the small businesses who are suffering most in this difficult period". Critics, however, argue improved terms with the USA won't compensate for the U.K.'s Brexit-induced economically distant relationship with the European Union.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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