The United States has entered a round of trade talks with the UK in order to try to set up a mini deal which will reduce trade tariffs. Mr Robert Lighthizer is President Trump’s trade chief and says he is hopeful that the deal will cut the costs of swingeing tariffs of products such as Scotch whisky .
Trade Talks Scheduled
In the weeks leading up to the announcement of this new mini trade deal, the UK had already indicated it would drop its tariffs against the United States relating to aerospace businesses.
This announcement was timed to coincide with the Brexit talks, in the hope of setting up a lucrative trade deal with the outgoing US administration.
This announcement was gauged to break with the EU in its support of the aeroplane manufacturer Airbus.
Mr Lighthizer said:
“I’m talking to [International Trade Secretary] Liz Truss, about trying to work out some kind of a deal… I’m hopeful we can get some kind of an agreement out you know, we don’t have a lot of time left.
We have the advantage in that both the US and the UK – particularly the current government of the UK – are not big subsidisers, where some other countries are more inclined to subsidise.
So it would be helpful if we could come to some kind of agreement.”
He indicated, however, that the UK would need to put far more than the Airbus announcement on the table in any trade talks.
UK Announcement On Airbus Support
In early December, the UK announced it would not be providing any more support to Airbus in its long row over subsidies.
This row has led to the EU announcing heavy tariffs on imports from Boeing and other providers.
This long dispute has been simmering for 16 years now, and Liz Truss has said she wants to “de-escalate” the UK’s involvement in the argument over subsidies.
It’s likely the trade talks will consider a number of UK food standards, for example on chicken and beef, alongside ways the NHS can be reformed when it comes to payment for US medications.
Mr Lighthizer concluded his announcement by saying:
“These negotiations are ongoing. You know, clearly, the US needs to get additional access to the agricultural market in the UK – that’s an important part of it, each side has to get something out of it.
These are complicated technical issues. And they’re the kinds of things that will be worked out, I think, in the in the final stages of negotiation.“