The United Kingdom and the United States are expected to announce their intention to launch formal trade talks on Wednesday. Negotiations are expected to take place to try to resolve a long-running dispute between London and Washington over steel and aluminum tariffs.
However, neither the UK nor the US are expected to set a timetable for the talks or a deadline for reaching an agreement.
Reuters reports that International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, 52, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, 50, will announce the plans in a virtual meeting over metal tariffs.
The report comes just a week after US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, 47, suggested they would seek to ease tariffs on UK steel and aluminum “when the time is right”.
Japan also wants to conclude a new agreement with the United States.
London and Tokyo hope to mirror the ‘duty-free access’ deal Brussels and Washington signed in October, which lifted additional costs on around 4 million tonnes of steel ‘melted and poured’ into the EU every year.
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The UK chose to maintain retaliatory EU tariffs on US goods, including whiskey and tobacco, when it severed ties with the EU’s single market and customs union in January 2021.
However, the news comes as the Institute of Export and International Trade says Brexit Britain has now overtaken Germany and China as the top growth market for US businesses.
Around 37% of US CEOs surveyed named the UK as one of the top three countries or territories for their company’s revenue growth prospects.
The figure was only 21% last year.
The number of US business leaders who named China stood at 26% and Germany was slightly further behind at 24%.
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Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK, said: “It’s not hard to see why American companies have their sights set on the UK.
“In addition to long-standing advantages such as our trusted legal and business environment, certain factors now make us ready to invest.
“The successful deployment of the vaccine and significant government funding have given us a head start on the recovery.
“In the meantime, our listed assets represent good value, at a time when many investors have plenty of war chests to spend.”
The United States estimates that trade in goods and services with the United Kingdom was $273 billion in 2019.
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However, President Joe Biden, 79, is said to be less enthusiastic about striking a post-Brexit trade deal and has lobbied the UK government as part of its negotiations with the EU over the implementation of the protocol. from Northern Ireland.
Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, 48, who has been branded as a dark horse in the race to succeed Boris Johnson, 57, as Prime Minister, even suggested in November that much of her time would be dedicated to “working”. in the United States at the state level.
She added, “We know the United States has more to do to be ready for an FTA, but when it is, we’ll be expecting it.”