Brexit Britain preparing to kickstart trade-pact talks with the US – ‘We stand ready’

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The UK Secretary of State for International Trade revealed discussions are currently underway Stateside. Speaking to Bloomberg Television, Anne-Marie Belinda Trevelyan, 52, said: “One of my ministers, Penny Mordaunt, is presently in California, having exactly those conversations and she’ll be also visiting Georgia and Tennessee, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.”

Negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal with the US began under the Donald Trump administration, but formal negotiations have not continued under Joe Biden.

However, during a trip to the US, Boris Johnson, 57, got a hint that the deal was “off” as Biden was not looking to close trade deals with any country at the moment.

Talking about the US government, Ms Trevelyan stated she understands why the Biden administration is focused on its domestic agenda rather than pushing forward trade talks.

The Secretary of State for International Trade said: “We stand ready to pick up and continue those negotiations with the team as and when there’s the capacity to do so.”

Ms Trevelyan said Ms Mordaunt’s discussions with state officials will include issues such as easing barriers around the recognition of professional qualifications in order to boost the trade in services, and also how to gain more access for UK businesses to state-level procurement.

In 2017, Mr Johnson who was serving as a foreign secretary said that the UK was now “first in line to do a great free-trade deal with the United States.”

But, presently, the talks on an all-encompassing deal have stalled, and discussions over steel tariffs suggest the U.K. now has a weaker hand post-Brexit.

The Trump administration imposed a 25 percent steel tariff, along with a 10 percent duty on aluminum imports in March 2018 on a range of nations, using a national-security provision in a 1962 trade law.

The EU in October brokered a deal with the US to ease those tariffs, which had been imposed while the UK was still a member of the bloc.

By building relations at state level, she said, the UK will also help ease the approval process for any eventual federal-level free trade agreement.

Ms Trevelyan continued: “When we get to that point and the US is asking for approval of the FTA that we finalize, it will require the support and the voice of all those states.

“So we can do a lot of the work now and build those relationships and make sure that businesses are really pushing from your side on the US side to make sure that we see the package that we want.”

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Supporters of leaving the European Union argued the deal would allow the UK to negotiate more favorable trade terms, as per its own economy.

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