US-UK bonanza: Truss champions £66m Brexit trade breakthrough as just ‘tip of the iceberg’

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has hailed the US-UK trade relationship after Britain persuaded its American allies to overturn a long-standing beef export ban. Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, Ms Truss pointed out that the first exports of British beef had been shipped to the US this week following the lifting of a 24-year-old ban. Ms Truss celebrated the landmark post-Brexit trade breakthrough between the US and UK that is said to be worth £66million to British farmers.

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The Trade Secretary said that the the beef ban breakthrough was the “tip of the iceberg” as she predicted increasing post-Brexit opportunities for the UK.

She called the first shipment a “historic moment for British farming” and the future US-UK trade relationship.

UK beef was originally banned after the BSE outbreak in 1996 when cattle were infected by what became commonly known as Mad Cow Disease.

Ms Truss championed the trade boost as she told ITV’s Robert Peston that the UK will work with “whoever is in the White House”.

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She explained: “It is not our job to intervene in foreign politics.

“Our job is to bat for British interests. We have just seen the first shipment of UK beef go to the US for the first time in 24 years.

“We got that beef ban lifted, and that is a huge boost to British farmers.

“We want to get products around the world, to help us in our economic recovery from coronavirus.”

She dismissed fears that a Joe Biden presidency would torpedo a US-UK trade deal, claiming there was “huge support” from both major US parties for a UK trade deal.

Ms Truss also reiterated that the UK was “absolutely committed to the Good Friday Agreement”.

Dr Phil Hadley, a director at the board, said: “The US represents an important potential market for our red meat exports and today’s first shipment is the result of the hard work and persistence of industry and government to bring about this crucial next step.

“This important milestone will bring a fantastic boost to the sector and we look forward to seeing more of our red meat served up on dinner tables across the US in the months and years to come.”

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Ms Truss said: “This could be just the tip of the iceberg.

“The free trade deal we are negotiating with the US will create a host of export opportunities for British agriculture.

“We are seeking an ambitious and high standards agreement that benefits farmers and delivers for consumers.”

She also pledged that the UK would not compromise on environmental, animal welfare and food standards in striking trade deals.

The Trade Secretary told a Spectator event earlier this week that that UK is hoping to get a US trade deal completed by mid-2021 

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