During an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday aimed at underlining the US-British alliance recently reconfirmed with the trilateral security pact AUKUS, US President Joe Biden has agreed with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to continue a policy toward Russia and China based on shared values.
I that context, British PM Johnson emphasized he looks forward to the President Biden’s Summit for Democracy scheduled for December 9-10,] which will help drive international action.
According to Downing Street’s statement, PM Johnson and President Biden talks covered an array of international issues including China and Russia, the situation in Afghanistan, climate change as well as the recently announced AUKUS.
Both leaders have agreed the UK and US should continue to have an approach to these issues driven by our shared values and stressed the importance of the platforms like the trilateral pact comprising Australia as a tool to harness the expertise of the three countries to solve future challenges and to ensure global stability.
As Peter Rough, an analyst with the right-leaning Hudson Institute, pointed that the trilateral deal is a sign that post-Brexit Britain isn’t going to kowtow to China as some had predicted, appearing liberated as it operates outside the EU framework.
With regards to Afghanistan, they emphasized the need to prevent a humanitarian crisis by all the means at the disposal and to preserve all achievements made in the country, noting that the issue of the recognition of the Taliban regime’s government must take into account its respect for human rights.
When it comes to economy and trade issues, Johnson acknowledged that the post-Brexit bilateral free trade deal with the US the UK was hoping on is low on the list of priorities of President Biden, who does not seem eager to pursue stand-alone trade deals unlike his predecessor Trump.
Asked if the post-EU UK was indeed at the back of the queue for a US trade deal, as former President Obama warned in 2016, Biden dashed any hopes Johnson might have had saying “We’ll have to work that through.”
That’s why, according to BBC, the UK is considering joining the free trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada, along with a possible series of smaller, sectoral deals with the US on separate issues.
They’re betting on that card as an alternative to a US-UK free-trade agreement (FTA), hopes for which have waned, hoping it might prove more successful.
Stressing that the ball is now in the US’s court, one UK official has complained that putting the US trade deal on a pedestal had set post-Brexit expectations too high and it has now become a distraction.
The USMCA agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada replaced in July last year the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after Trump offered a rebalanced deal that works much better for the US.
In the wake of Brexit and leaving the EU’s single market, London is keen to strike free trade deal with the US that would encourage more business between the two countries by making it cheaper, usually by reducing or eliminating tariffs.
One senior government figure said that both London and Washington could also consider negotiating into the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.