Joe Biden: American voters assess US President's first 100 days
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Speaking today, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK will not be signed any time soon. Although Mr Blinken held a positive meeting with his UK counterpart Dominic Raab, he insisted the US will only sign a deal which secures the best interests of the American people. With the new administration 100 days into its time at the White House, Mr Blinken claimed any deal will take “some time”.
In an interview with the Today programme, Mr Blinken also stressed any deal must protect the Good Friday Agreement in reference to the clashes seen in Northern Ireland over the last few weeks.
He said today: “Our trade negotiator just got on the job, so she’s taking the time to go back and review everything that was discussed and that’s going to take some time.
“We want to make sure that, whether it’s with the United Kingdom or anyone else, any agreements reached are consistent with the principles that President Biden has established to focus on making sure that these agreements really advance the wellbeing of our workers and their families. That’s our focus.
“We want to make sure that, whether it’s with the United Kingdom or the EU, whether it’s anything we’re doing, that we make sure that the tremendous gains from the Good Friday Agreement are sustained and that the economic as well the political wellbeing of Northern Ireland is taken fully into account.”
Although Mr Blinken issued a damning update on the current US-UK trade negotiations, the Secretary of State said the countries remained “profoundly in sync”.
UK officials have worked hard to progress talks over a bumper trade deal with the US due to the size of trade with America.
Due to the change in administrations, talks had been delayed although the two sides agreed to suspend tariffs on Scotch and other UK exports.
At the turn of the year, the UK also ceased applying tariffs on Boeing in part of the Airbus dispute.
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Although the tariffs will only be for a temporary period the US also suspended tariffs on Airbus parts.
Last week International Trade Secretary Liz Truss held talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in order to push a deal forward.
One Whitehall source said: “We could have a deal much quicker than first thought, it seems the Biden administration are really willing to engage, it’s a mini breakthrough.”
According to figures from the Commons Library released in April 2021, trade with the US stood at £229.9billion as of 2019.
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UK exports also stand at £140.9billion with the US, which amounts to 20.4 percent of all Britain’s exports.
Despite these large figures, one Washington insider told Express.co.uk the ‘special relationship’ with the UK is not a priority for Mr Biden.
Former executive assistant to Ronald Reagan, Peggy Grande said: “I fear the US – UK relationship is neither ‘special’ nor a priority to the Biden Administration.
“The Biden administration is led by globalists who are soft on our enemies, aligned with the EU and other socialist-leaning countries and are placing a low priority on allied nations, like the UK, who are not helpful in advancing their progressive agenda.
“Biden seems to be taking a page from Obama’s playbook, sending the UK to the ‘back of queue’.
“As such, I doubt that a robust US-UK trade deal is on the front burner for this administration.
“The UK and any trade deal with them will be pushed to a back burner and likely only be addressed if a crisis emerges – fire extinguisher foreign policy – not the best form of diplomacy.
“And with so many crises already emergent here domestically, I’m not sure when, or if, this will rise to the level of attention.”
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