We are ready to start business talks when you are.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is ready and waiting to start trade negotiations with the United States, Britain’s Trade Secretary Liz Truss said on Tuesday when asked about a timetable for a possible deal.
Truss was speaking after delivering a speech urging businesses to join Britain’s post-Brexit trade strategy to provide services to the growing middle classes in the Indo-Pacific region.
Her letter made no mention of a deal with the United States – something that was billed as one of the biggest prizes for leaving the European Union during the 2016 referendum campaign, which negotiators quickly tried to link with former US President Donald Trump.
Since Joe Biden’s election victory, the prospect of a quick deal has vanished as the new US administration undertakes a broader review of Trump’s trade policies.
Asked about a US deal during an event at the Policy Exchange think tank, Truss said: “Of course the United States presents a huge opportunity when they are ready to negotiate.”
It has not set a deadline for a deal, and has refused to commit to agreeing it before the next British election, currently scheduled for 2024 at the latest.
However, it highlighted cooperation with the United States to resolve existing tariffs related to trade disputes as an indication that the two are broadly in line with free trade values. (Reporting by William James; Editing by Michael Holden)