EU is sidelined as two economic world powers (USA & UK) talk business
The UK-US post-Brexit trade talks start today
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org
An enthusiastic US President and a US-born UK Prime Minister are fully behind this
It’s been a little delayed thanks to the Coronavirus but finally the UK-US trade talks kick off properly today.
On February 27 the UK’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss met US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in London. They held preliminary talks and reiterated their commitment to get on with negotiating a free trade agreement and improving the bilateral trading relationship between the US and the UK.
Since then both sides have published their basic negotiating positions. On Sunday the Department for International Trade (DIT) said:
“More trade is essential if the UK is to overcome the unprecedented economic challenge posed by Covid-19. We want an agreement benefitting every region and nation of the UK.”
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
UK-US trade in goods (data for 2019)
- The US is the UK’s largest customer for the UK’s goods
- The UK is the 5th largest customer for the USA’s goods
- It is the biggest in Europe for the USA
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge
UK-US trade in goods AND services (data for 2018)
- The USA buys more than twice as much from the UK as our next biggest customer (Germany)
- The USA bought £123.5bn of goods and services from the UK in 2018
- Germany bought just £56.7bn
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge
- The UK had a total trade surplus (goods & services) of £45.4bn with the USA in 2018
- The UK had a total DEFICIT with Germany of -£22.6 bn in 2018
What happens today?
Early this afternoon a series of video conferences will start between many dozens of trade negotiators from the UK’s Dept for International Trade and from the USA’s Office of the Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The first round of talks are likely to continue into next week.
Back in February the new Secretary of State for International Trade, the Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, commented on her meeting with the US Trade Representative when he visited London, saying:
“Securing an ambitious free trade agreement with the US is one of my top priorities, delivering benefits to towns across the whole of the UK from Edinburgh to Enniskillen.
“We want an agreement that benefits both small businesses and entrepreneurs and every industry, from agriculture and manufacturing to professional and business services.
“The UK stands ready to negotiate a highly ambitious free trade agreement with our biggest trading partner and will publish our negotiation objectives very soon.”
The formal opening positions
Both sides have now published their opening positions, which readers can access using the following links:-
Here's Ambassador 'Woody' Johnson today:-
Today the talks on the FTA begin. If we do it right jobs & prosperity will follow! 🇺🇸🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/jrtZZk4TL6— Ambassador Johnson (@USAmbUK) May 5, 2020
The United Kingdom compared to the anti-Trump ideologues of the EU
When President Trump is contemplating the UK-US trade deal in the coming months, he may wish to remember one thing. The UK is not the only country on the receiving end of a massive trade deficit with Germany and the rest of the EU.
- US merchandise trade deficit with the 27 EU countries : -$184 BILLION in 2019
- This trade deficit has been growing every year and continues to do so
Source: International Trade Administration of the US Dept of Commerce, Mar 2020
As we have reported on many previous occasions, this massive deficit has always been down to the other major EU economies, not to the UK. Now that the EU has started reporting on statistics for previous years as if the UK had never been a part of the EU, these facts are becoming ever starker.
We are sure that many elements of the mainstream media will take a cynical approach to this positive development today. We don't. We prefer to be upbeat about two countries who each believe in free markets and in the competitive instinct to succeed.
The United States of America is the United Kingdom’s largest market by far. And the United Kingdom is a very significant market for the USA – much more than for any EU country, including Germany.
The USA is more than twice as important a customer to the UK as its 2nd largest customer, Germany. Added to this, the UK has a deficit with Germany every year. The Germans sell us far more than we sell them.
Mr President, you know who America’s real friends are
We read “The President’s 2020 Trade Agenda and Annual Report” published on Feb 28. We noted how this report put the United Kingdom above the European Union :-
“United Kingdom - As part of a trade agreement with the UK, the United States aims to achieve a fairer and deeper trade relationship with the UK by addressing certain tariff and non-tariff barriers and agreeing on high-standard rules.
“European Union - For many years, U.S. businesses have been at a disadvantage in doing business in the EU. In a fair trade agreement with the European Union, the United States seeks to eliminate EU barriers to its markets and seeks a more balanced trade relationship.”
We could not agree more Mr President.
Forget the EU for a moment and let’s do a deal between two old friends – the USA and the UK.
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[ Sources: UK Dept for International Trade | Office of the United States Trade Representative | Office of Trade and Economic Analysis for the U.S. Department of Commerce | U.S. International Trade Administration ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 05 May 2020
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