Liz Truss takes ‘strong-armed’ approach to US trade deal
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Prime Minister Liz Truss has said a free trade deal between the UK and US may not be achieved for years. But do you think a trade deal with the US is a priority? Vote in our poll.
Ms Truss has travelled to New York on her first international trip since entering Downing Street. Ahead of her first bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden, she put to bed expectations of an imminent deal.
On Tuesday, while en route to the United Nations General Assembly, she told reporters: “There aren’t currently any negotiations taking place with the US and I don’t have an expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.”
Ms Truss said her focus on international trade deals has also moved eastwards, citing India as a desirable partner.
In June her predecessor, Boris Johnson vowed to secure a trade deal with the nation by the end of the year.
She would also like to strike a deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), she said, a group made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
And Ms Truss is hoping to oversee UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – one of the world’s biggest trading blocs involving 11 countries including Australia, Canada and Japan.
She added that her “number one” focus during talks with Mr Biden was global security, to “collectively deal with Russian aggression” and to rally support for Ukraine.
The UK Government had previously promised to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the US by 2022.
The Labour Party has criticised the lack of a US trade deal, claiming that it “is costing billions in lost potential trade opportunities and holding back growth”.
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Labour’s shadow international trade secretary Nick Thomas Symonds said: “The admission that there is no prospect of a trade deal with the USA is terrible news for the UK economy.
“There is no doubt that the blame for this mess lies at the door of the prime minister, who tarnished the UK’s international reputation as foreign and international trade secretary.”
He added: “This is an embarrassment for Liz Truss.”
So what do YOU think? Do you think a trade deal with the US is a priority? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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