Sponsored By

U.S., U.K. lay groundwork for bilateral trade dealU.S., U.K. lay groundwork for bilateral trade deal

Britain's Prime Minister May and President Trump state support for trade deal between the two countries.

Jacqui Fatka

January 30, 2017

2 Min Read
U.S., U.K. lay groundwork for bilateral trade deal
U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May participate in a joint press conference at the East Room of the White House on Jan. 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

During a meeting Friday at the White House, President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to hold preliminary talks on a trade deal, which can’t be finalized until the U.K. leaves the European Union.

The U.K. in June 2016 voted to exit the economic bloc, which was formed after World War II to promote economic growth and to avoid conflict among the 28 EU member countries. Trump and May agreed to set up working groups to consider ways to improve trade between the countries before the U.K. -- which consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales -- exits the EU. The so-called Brexit process may take up to two years.

In opening remarks made by the two leaders, May noted that trade between the two countries is already worth more than £150 billion pounds ($187 billion) per year.

May said they were discussing how to establish a trade negotiation agreement, “take forward immediate, high-level talks, lay the groundwork for a U.K.-U.S. trade agreement and identify the practical steps we can take now in order to enable companies in both countries to trade and do business with one another more easily.”

She added that she is convinced that a trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. is in the national interest of both countries and would cement the crucial relationship that exists between the two nations, especially as the U.K. leaves the EU and reaches out to the world.

Given its desire to negotiate a free trade agreement with the U.K., it is unclear if the Trump Administration will continue trade talks with the EU through the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP). Those negotiations have been limping along nearly since TTIP was initiated in 2013.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauded the Trump Administration for recognizing the importance of free trade agreements to American agriculture and the entire U.S. economy. “We’re pleased that it will work for a stronger trade relationship with the United Kingdom through a mutually beneficial trade agreement,” NPPC president John Weber said.

Although NPPC had been supportive of TTIP, it was skeptical that U.S. hog farmers – or any other farmers – would get a good deal out of the agreement, given the EU’s intransigence on eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers on agricultural products, including pork.

“In pursuing better trade with the U.K. and working toward a free trade agreement with it, I think the administration recognized that TTIP isn’t going anywhere,” Weber said. “We’re pleased President Trump is instead focusing on bolstering our historic ties with the U.K.”

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Feedstuffs is the news source for animal agriculture

You May Also Like