Brexit: Fisheries boss discusses the ‘implications’ of leaving EU
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss had previously indicated her intent to sign a trade deal with the US this year. Speaking to Express.co.uk ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, Simon Hoare, chair of the Northern Ireland select committee and North Dorset MP, admitted a trade deal with Mr Biden may not be agreed in 2021. Despite the desperate need of a deal with the US, Mr Hoare admitted the “steam has gone out” of plans for an agreement this year.
He added: “I’m not sure on a trade deal will be agreed this year.
“It does seem quite a bit of the steam has dropped out about the US-UK trade deal talks.”
He did, however, add that the relationship between the President-elect and Mr Johnson may spark progress in other initiatives which will be the launchpad to a future treaty.
Mr Hoare said: “A trade is something nice to have.
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“My view is that we must protect our food and agricultural standards in any deal we do.
“I would’ve thought the two leaders will use the areas of which they agree as the launchpad to progress other initiatives of which a trade deal is one.”
The last round of formal negotiations with the US ended on October 30, 2020.
Following that date, the UK had hoped to secure a series of mini deals with Donald Trump’s administration in order to push forward with a Free Trade Agreement in 2021.
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In December, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, had claimed talks had progressed and was hopeful of producing a partial agreement before President-elect Joe Biden, was inaugurated.
It was hoped agreements could be made on Scotch whisky and cashmere imports after tariffs on Boeing imports were lifted by the UK.
The UK’s Trade Department made the move to lift tariffs on Boeing aeroplane imports in order to bring the US to the negotiating table.
The tariffs had been in place for 16-years and relate to a dispute between the US and EU over subsidies given out to Boeing and Airbus respectively.
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If a deal is not agreed by April, the UK will miss out on Washington’s Trade Promotion Authority which expires in July.
This legislation allows for deals to be pushed through Congress without being substantially changed by US lawmakers.
If a deal is not agreed in time for April, any trade agreement will be put before Congress without fast-track protections and could therefore be bogged down.
It is hoped, however, the UK may forge strong relations with Mr Biden through the UN’s climate change summit this year and by holding the G7 Summit in Glasgow.
Sophia Gaston, director of the London-based British Foreign Policy Group think tank, claimed the UK’s G7 summit is intended to demonstrate to the US, that Britain is still a leading foreign policy player.
Mr Hoare concluded: “They are on the same page in terms of environmental issues: we have the COP26 later this year and the G7 in Glasgow.
“We have a lot of interests in regards to China.
“No special relationship is the same, it’s to do with personalities and they change over time.
“I’m optimistic, we will have a good relationship where we agree.”
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