BORIS Johnson and Donald Trump have agreed to strike a UK-US trade deal in lightning quick time by July next year.
The President and the PM could publicly commit to the highly ambitious timeline as early as Tuesday (September 22) when they meet in New York .
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have agreed to strike a UK-US trade deal by July of 2020[/caption]
Boris was initially sceptical about Mr Trump’s aim to have a deal tied up in just nine months time.
But he has been persuaded to aim for it because of the high risk that the US presidential election in November poses.
American politicians will be distracted by the campaign for the White House as well as Congress by the Autumn, and a new president may not share Mr Trump’s enthusiasm for a deal.
It has also emerged that the deal the two leaders are aiming for will be the biggest free trade agreement that the US has ever done with another country.
While the deal could be signed next summer, its implementation will have to wait until Brexit’s transition period finishes in December 2020.
‘A GREAT WIN FOR US’
But it will still come as a major boost to Britain’s Brexit hopes.
A senior Government source told The Sun: “The political will is there now on both sides to do the deal by July.
“It’s a great win for us, and Trump is also really keen to shout about it in the States.
“There is also a recognition on both sides of the Atlantic that is must be done by then because the US election cycle starts soon afterwards.”
The British and American leaders will hold talks about the trade deal in the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting on Tuesday.
The two men had planned on also setting out a full road map for the deal’s negotiation on Tuesday, but that has now been delayed for details to be ironed out – probably until when the President is next in London in December for the NATO summit.
Though negotiations can’t formally begin until the UK has left the EU, officials have been holding scoping talks for months.
The US’s biggest priority is to see a major reduction in the UK’s tariffs on steel imports, as well as a reduction or end to the digital tax on tech giants.
London’s biggest ask is for access to the giant American market for financial services.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, who will also be in New York this week to meet her opposite number, US trade boss Robert Lighthizer, has already insisted the UK cannot compromise on food standards or access to the NHS.
Boris revealed Trump’s July 2020 target last month at the G7 summit in Biarritz, calling the President “gung-ho” about its speed.
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Mr Johnson added then: “They want to do it in a year.
“I’d love to do it within a year, but that’s a very fast timetable”.
In his two-day visit to America, the PM will hold key Brexit talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and EU Council President Donald Tusk.
Boris revealed Trump’s July 2020 target last month at the G7 summit in Biarritz, calling the President ‘gung-ho’ about its speed[/caption]
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has already insisted the UK cannot compromise on food standards or access to the NHS[/caption]
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