Liz Truss says UK is ready to negotiate trade policy with US
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The International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said during an event at the Policy Exchange think tank that Britain is ready and waiting to begin trade negotiations with the United States. Asked about when a trade deal with the US can be expected, Ms Truss said: “On the United States we’ve already had success in de-escalating the Airbus Boeing tariff war which has now lead to a working group on large civil aircraft and we go the tariffs removed on products like whiskey which was very important with our industries.
“We are working together with the United States on how we defend key industries against unfair practices such as steel and other traditional industries as well as looking at how we work together in areas like technology.
“I was pleased to see last night that the US has appointed their chief agricultural negotiator.
“They now have their full negotiating team and of course the UK are absolutely ready to negotiate when the US are.
“But we have lots of opportunities on the go. We’re using all our negotiating capacity but the US is a big opportunity when they are ready to negotiate.”
Her comments come just a month after a source close to Ms Truss told the Sunday Telegraph that a deal with the US is unlikely to be signed before 2023.
They said: “Liz is playing the long game and wants to build a much broader base of support for a deal in the US domestic market, which is why we’re heading to California as well as DC.
“We want the backing of the American public, key industries like tech, and the political class, and Liz is out there to get that and bang the drum for Britain.”
The Department for International Trade’s (DIT’s) Global Trade Outlook report, due to be published on Tuesday, has found that the “centre of global economic gravity is moving away from Europe” and heading towards the Indo-Pacific.
By 2030, three of the four largest economies in the world will be in the Indo-Pacific region, the report forecasts, with the region set to account for 56 percent of global GDP growth and 44 percent of global import demand growth over the next 30 years.
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Alongside that, global demand for British digital and financial services is expected to double in the next decade, with demand for digital services calculated to grow by 117 percent, the department said.
Ms Truss ahead of her address at the thinktank: “In order to seize the opportunities of the future, we need to grow trade with the fastest-growing parts of the world while turbocharging digital and services commerce – which is exactly what we’re doing.
“We are building a global network of next generation trade deals that are advanced in services and digital trade, and forge closer economic ties with markets in east Asia and the Asia-Pacific.
“We know the demand for high-quality British goods and services exists, and is growing, therefore we need to ready British businesses for export and bolster inward investment across the country; creating new jobs, business and growth.”
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In its integrated review of security and foreign policy published earlier this year, the Government outlined plans for a “tilt” in focus towards the Indo-Pacific, an approach the Trade Secretary wants to emulate through trade.
The Cabinet minister, according to the DIT, will say it is time to “move from defence to offence in trade” and will set out plans for targeting trade deals with the fastest-growing parts of the global economy.
The Conservative MP is planning to say “the status quo is not an option” and outline how her trade policy will open new trade routes beyond Europe, with Britain in control of its trade policy and free to strike new trade agreements since leaving the European Union in 2020.
Officials said the UK was already making “significant headway” in building more successful trade routes with growth economies in the Indo-Pacific.
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