Dominic Raab to hold face to face meeting with Biden official about US UK trade deal

Liz Truss submits UK's application to join the CPTPP

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The UK Foreign Secretary will speak to Antony Blinken for the first time in London this evening. The meeting comes on the eve of the G7 meeting on Tuesday and the pair are set to explore ways to strengthen the “special relationship” between the two nations – including a UK-US free trade deal. The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Iran, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic are also set to feature heavily.

Foreign ministers from across the G7, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU, will attend the formal meeting tomorrow.

Progress has already been made towards a concrete free trade deal between Washington and London.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has been leading negotiations with her US counterparts and has already made a number of substantial breakthroughs.

In March, the two sides agreed to suspend the 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky and other UK exports.

The expensive barrier had been in place due an ongoing trade row between the US and EU, but Brexit has enabled the UK to break free from the costly measure.

The UK and US has also agreed a new joint approach to the longstanding trade conflict over aerospace tariffs.

Figures from the House of Commons library reveal the UK exported £141billion goods and services to the US in 2019, 21 percent of all exports.

Earlier this week, Ms Truss held positive talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and sources suggested a wider deal could be in the offing.

One Whitehall insider close to Ms Truss said: “We could have a deal much quicker than first thought, it seems the Biden administration are really willing to engage, it’s a mini breakthrough.”

A second source added: “It seems Katherine has a change of heart, it is certainly promising for trade relations.”

The US President will visit the UK next month in his first overseas trip since he defeated Donald Trump in the race for the White House.

Mr Biden will attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall from June 11-13.

The 78-year-old has been a vocal critic of Brexit in the past, but when announcing the visit, the White House was upbeat about “revitalising the transatlantic relationship”.

In a statement, the White House said: “This trip will highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalising the transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests.”

Boris Johnson was one of the first world leaders to speak to Mr Biden after his election victory last November.

The Prime Minister said he had an “excellent” first conversation Mr Biden.


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Downing Street added the two leaders discussed “the benefits of a potential free trade deal”.

In the House of Commons, Mr Johnson told MPs they discussed global free trade, NATO and climate change.

He said: “One of the many merits of the excellent conversation I had yesterday with President-elect Joe Biden was that we both strongly agreed on the need, once again, for the United Kingdom and the United States to stand together.

“To stick up for our values around the world, to stick up for human rights, to stick up for global free trade, to stick up for NATO, Mr. Speaker, and to work together in the fight against climate change”.
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