The UK is “first in line” for a trade deal with the US, according to US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, when he met new prime minister, Boris Johnson at Number 10, yesterday [Monday, 12 August 2019] “To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say,” said Mr Bolton who also confirmed that the US trade deals would follow World Trade Organisation rules, saying when pressed that “our trade negotiators seem to think it is”
He went on to say that the US supported a no-deal Brexit should that be the only [or preferred] option and added that Washington would propose a fast track series of deals to support the UK saying that “both President Trump and I were leavers before there were leavers”.
Known for his “America First” mentality, Bolton reiterated that the US government “fully understands” that Brexit is the UK’s first priority, and said issues like Iran, China, and the involvement of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in the UK’s 5G mobile infrastructure could be “put off” until after the UK leaves the EU.
“We just ask that, as issues come up, we resolve them individually and we reserve the time to have a larger conversation on some of these important issues at a moment that is really right for the
new government. We just felt we owe them that,” he said.
But, just why the Trump administration would choose its National Security Adviser is sending mixed messages as these weren’t simply “off the cuff” remarks but more an official statement of alegiance.
Bolton says deals could be done on a “sector-by-sector” [piecemeal] basis, with an agreement on manufacturing trade agreement being the first, not as envisaged, financial services and agriculture and criticised the May administartion for not pursuing the array of benefits that the US could and would offer.
Bolton went on to say that a bilateral agreement or “series of agreements” could be carved out “very quickly, very straight-forwardly”. “Doing it in pieces” is not unprecedented and the US understood the importance and urgency of “doing as much as we can agree on as rapidly as possible because of the looming 31 October Brexit date”.
He argued that there would be enthusiastic bipartisan support in Congress for speedy ratification at each stage of the proposed trade packages.
By: Newsroom Team