UK-US trade deal: Mike Lee calls to ‘strengthen relationship’
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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss struck a historic deal with the US on the Airbus-Boeing dispute which was holding up talks on US trade deal. After talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at the Department for International Trade’s headquarters in central London, both sides have agreed to suspend retaliatory tariffs for five years.
London and Washington agreed to cooperate more closely on tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.
Now Senator Mike Lee urged the US to sign a deal with the UK to continue the “special relationship” between both countries.
The Utah Senator put forward a resolution backed by fellow Republican members urging the Biden administration to argee on a deal as soon as possible, claiming the action was a “no-brainer.”
Speaking in the US Senate to introduce the resolution, he stressed the UK is one of our “staunchest and most loyal allies”, and added: “We have stood beside each other through two world wars and the Cold War.
“In the 21st century, the US and the UK have become even stronger friends and partners, both in the fight against global terrorism and for freedom, peace, and prosperity.
“Now, an opportunity lies before us to strengthen this relationship more than ever before: by securing a free trade agreement between our two nations.”
Senator Lee argued a free trade deal would allow for “expanded commercial partnerships, and greater investments in emerging industries”.
He continued: “It would serve as an even greater engine of prosperity and economic liberty on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, concluded: “This is a no-brainer and it would be a tremendous asset in the midst of the economic and geopolitical challenges we face today.
“The pandemic and supply-chain turmoil has proven that friends are invaluable in a pinch.
“While many global relationships have been unsteady, and many governments do not know what the future of their trading relationships will look like, the UK has been a stalwart and secure partner.”
The 17-year dispute, the longest-running in the history of the World Trade Organisation, has seen damaging retaliatory tariffs levied on products on both sides of the Atlantic due to disagreements over support for large civil aircraft.
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A 25 percent tariff was placed on single malt Scotch whisky by the Trump administration as part of the trade dispute.
Other UK industries including cashmere and construction vehicles were also affected by the trade dispute, which had made exporting to the US harder since October 2019.
As part of the deal struck between the US and UK governments, both sides also agreed to form a working group on the civil aviation industry.
They have agreed that research and development practices will not harm the other, as well as agreeing to co-operate against “non-market practices of third countries”.
Department for International Trade sources said negotiations on a US trade deal would be continuing in due course.
Trade between both countries totalled £196billion in 2019 with the UK being the seventh-largest trading partner in goods, according to the Department for International Trade.
Senator Lee’s resolution will be debated at a later debate in the Senate Chamber.
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