Truss: UK-US free trade agreement can not be reached in the short term
International Business News – On September 21, local time, the new British Prime Minister Truss will hold a bilateral meeting with US President Biden. The British “Guardian” reported on the 20th that Truss has said that the United Kingdom may not reach a free trade agreement with the United States for several years.
On September 20, local time, Jack Sullivan, assistant to the US president for national security affairs, said at a White House briefing that US President Biden and British Prime Minister Truss will hold talks on the 21st, and the two sides will discuss economic relations between the two countries and North Korea. Irish question, etc. According to the British Prime Minister’s Office, Truss will hold a “comprehensive bilateral meeting” with Biden on the 21st local time. An informal meeting between the two, scheduled for the Queen’s funeral, has been cancelled.
The British “Guardian” said that on the plane to New York, Truss confessed to reporters: “There is no negotiation with the United States at present, and I do not expect to start negotiations in the short to medium term.” The report pointed out that this is the British government. It was admitted for the first time that there was little chance of a preliminary bilateral trade deal with the United States, Britain’s largest trading partner. And this has always been seen by supporters of Britain’s “Brexit” as a major potential benefit of the UK leaving the EU. The Guardian said the downplaying of expectations, disappointing for Brexiters, was because Truss feared that over-promising but failing to start negotiations would damage the new government.
In 2019, coinciding with Britain’s exit from the European Union, then-Prime Minister Johnson placed strong hopes on the United States for future trade partnerships. The U.S. also pledged to sign a free trade agreement with the U.K. to help mitigate the economic impact of Brexit. At the time, Truss was the British Minister of International Trade, responsible for negotiations with the United States. However, due to the subsequent new crown epidemic, coupled with the U.S. opposition to the U.K.’s desire to amend the Northern Ireland Protocol, agriculture and trade in services and many other issues emerged, so that the U.K.’s expectations here in the U.S. first fell short. Some analysts believe that on the issue of trade, the UK needs more than the United States. And without the “protection” of the relevant EU free trade agreements, the UK is bound to be at a disadvantage in the negotiations with the United States.
There is also public opinion that the relationship between Truss and Biden has previously become strained due to the Northern Ireland issue, and Truss may take a tougher diplomatic stance in key areas of British national interest. But for the U.S., Britain’s position is declining day by day, and the EU clearly has a greater voice than Britain on matters of a range of international and regional issues.