UK After Brexit Plans to Open Free Trade Negotiations with U.S.

United Kingdom Trade Secretary Liam Fox on Wednesday stated that the U.S. is first in line for free trade deals after Brexit ends, World Trade reported.

Fox stated that the UK besides with the U.S. would pursue post-Brexit trade negotiations also with Australia, New Zealand and seek entry into the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“The United States is the UK’s single largest trading partner and foreign investor, accounting for over $131 billion worth of UK annual exports,” Fox stated in his speech at the Federation of Small Business.

Trump in his first month withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping agreement with 11 other nations around the Pacific Rim.

Fox added that once the UK and the EU reach an agreement the UK can launch new trade negotiations.

“For the first time in over 40 years we will be able to determine who we trade with, and on what terms.”

However, he said that there is some doubt if UK will successfully withdraw from the EU.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to win both factions in Parliament, those who want a hard-exit and those who want a gentler departure to protect the economy.

Last week President Donald Trump sparked internal tensions in UK parliament during his visit in London. Trump said that May’s suggestions can hurt the chances that the US and the UK can ink a trade pact.

Meanwhile, Fox also mentioned the rising level of protectionism around the global economy although he didn’t specifically name Trump.

“Protectionism saps trade, disrupts supply chains and raises import costs,” Fox said. “It creates uncertainty for businesses and consumers and sows the seeds of hostility and mistrust between nations. It is not a history we need to repeat.”

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