LONDON | The United Kingdom and the United States starting Tuesday, their negotiations for a free trade agreement “ambitious” after the transition period, post-Brexit, which ends at the end of the year.
The british minister responsible for international Trade, Liz Truss, and the us Trade representative Robert Lighthizer, will start by video conferencing this first round of negotiations expected to last approximately two weeks, each team with one hundred traders.
The british prime minister Boris Johnson, a staunch supporter of Brexit, has long touted the commercial possibilities that opens according to him, the output of the european Union, in particular with its american ally.
But the opposition fears that a new free trade agreement with the United States at the expense of standards in the field of environment and supply, with the arrival of chickens in chlorine-or hormone-treated beef us in the stalls in the uk.
Concerns have also arisen about the possible privatisation of parts of the public service of british health, the NHS, despite repeated denials by the government.
“We want to conclude an ambitious agreement that opens up new opportunities for our businesses, generates more investment and create better jobs for people across the country,” said Liz Truss, in a statement.
The trade between the two countries accounted for 220,9 billion pounds (385 billion dollars) last year. Exports to the U.s. accounted for almost 20 % of british exports, according to a government report. The objective is to increase trade between the two countries of $ 15.3 billion pounds (up from 26.8 billion $) in the long term, compared to 2018.
This first session of negotiations will be followed by others every six weeks or so, for the time being carried out at a distance because of the pandemic of novel coronavirus.
The talks will be led by Oliver Griffiths, director of negotiations with the United States, the british department of international Trade, and by Daniel Mullaney, deputy representative of the american Trade to Europe and the Middle East.
The menu of discussions, the trade of goods and services, digital commerce, investment and support to SMES.
At the same time, the United Kingdom, who has left officially the european Union on January 31 after 47 years of marriage, stormy, hopes to conclude a free trade agreement with the EU before the end of the year, when ends the period of transition during which the european rules continue to apply.
The discussions are skating for the moment, and the next session of negotiations is scheduled for may 11.