Biden downplays chances of UK-US trade deal

Biden downplays chances of UK-US trade deal
Boris Johnson, left, and Joe Biden at their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: President Joe Biden has not entertained the chances of brokering a post-Brexit US-UK free trade deal, as he held talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House.

The UK said its priority was still getting a trade deal with the US alone.

But ministers of the British government are now considering joining an existing North American trade pact instead of pursuing a separate deal, according to BBC.

The US and UK leaders also discussed about Afghanistan, security and climate change during the 90-minute meeting.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson and Mr Biden “had agreed to continue working towards a future full free trade agreement”.

However, the British Prime Minister had earlier also downplayed chances of securing a deal with the United States before the next general election, saying: “The Americans do negotiate very hard.”

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office before the meeting, President Joe Biden said they would discuss trade “a little bit”, adding: “We’re going to have to work that through”.

A deal would encourage trade by making it cheaper – usually by eliminating or reducing taxes called tariffs.

BBC reported citing a source familiar with the government’s thinking suggested that the UK could negotiate entry into an existing trade arrangement between the US, Mexico and Canada – known as the USMCA – set up after former US President Donald Trump tore up its predecessor, NAFTA.

The source said: “There are a variety of different ways to do this. The question is whether the US administration is ready. The ball is in the US’s court. It takes two to tango.”

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