US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has lowered expectations about an imminent post-Brexit trade deal with Britain.
Blinken said in an interview with the BBC on Thursday that any deal will take “some time”, and US President Joe Biden wants to ensure that any trade deal benefits American workers and their families.
“Our trade negotiator took the reins, so it took me some time to look back and review everything that was said,” said Blinken, who traveled to London earlier. “It will take some time.” Group of Seven.
“We want to make sure that any agreement reached, whether with Great Britain or anyone else, conforms to the principles that President Biden has set out to focus on ensuring that these agreements improve the well-being of our workers and their families. This is our priority.”
Blinken indicated that the new US trade negotiator, Catherine Tye, would take time to review the talks the previous administration, led by Donald Trump, had held before proceeding with negotiations.
Trump was a staunch advocate of a trade deal with Britain, which formally walked away from the European Union’s economic structure at the start of the year. Now he can negotiate his own terms of trade, whereas before that, the European Union, within the bloc, had agreed to the terms on behalf of its members.
One of the main arguments for Brexit supporters before the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union was the prospect of a speedy trade deal with the United States, the world’s largest economy.
The European Union and the United States do not have a major trade agreement, although there are many bilateral agreements that facilitate trade in specific areas such as aviation.
Although the United States is the largest economy in the world, trade with the European Union accounts for a much larger share of Britain’s GDP. Therefore, the priority of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government was to negotiate an agreement ensuring that no tariffs would be imposed on trade between his country and the European Union. Although tariffs are avoided, there are many obstacles such as customs controls that complicate trade and add to the expense for companies.
The Brexit deal has caused panic in Northern Ireland, especially among trade unionists, who support the rest of the UK.
As part of the agreement to ensure there is no border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union, London agreed to introduce customs controls on some products that travel between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, a measure that did not exist before Brexit.
In his interview, Blinken stressed the importance the President, who has Irish roots, attaches to protecting the progress made in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which brought peace to Northern Ireland.
“We want to make sure, whether with the United Kingdom or with the European Union, in everything we do, to make sure that the tremendous progress of the Good Friday Agreement is preserved and that the political and economic well-being of Ireland account. From the north,” he said.
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