LONDON — Allies of US President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Theresa May that the two countries can “do a trade deal in a week,” according to the Financial Times.
May will become the first foreign leader to met newly installed President and she is expected to lay the groundwork for a trade deal with the US as well as discuss how the two nations can fight terrorism.
But above all, according to the report, May and her cabinet are “anxious” that the meeting is a success because the government are keen to strike a US-UK trade deal as soon as possible, with Trump’s allies allegedly saying that the two parties can “do a trade deal in a week.”
This week, Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, said “we’ve always had that special relationship with Britain. He’s had a great conversation with her and he looks forward to having her here. But we can always be closer.”
When it comes to the trade deals though, the UK is in a quandary.
EU’s foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini said “it’s absolutely clear on the EU side that as long as a country is a member state of the EU, which is something the UK is at the moment, there are no negotiations bilaterally on any trade agreement with third parties.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s trade plans to “Make America Great Again” are protectionist. On Monday, Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
The TPP deal, which would lower tariffs for 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Japan and Mexico but excluding China, was negotiated under the Obama administration. However, it was not ratified by Congress.
Trump has previously said he wants to put US interests at the heart of international relationships. He made the debate over free trade one of the central topics of his campaign after criticising China, Mexico, and Japan. Trump argued in favour of ripping up trade deals, said the North American Free Trade Agreement was “the worst trade deal in the history of the country,” and called TPP ” a rape of our country .”
At the beginning of December, Trump said the US should view trade “almost as a war” and vowed to implement protectionist policies. He said that his administration would renegotiate trade deals and “defeat the enemy on jobs. And we have to look at it almost as a war, because that’s what’s happened to us. That’s what’s happened to our workers.”
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