UK Eyes First Free Trade Deal With Trump
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has claimed that the UK is “first in line” for a free trade deal with the US after the administration of Donald Trump takes office on 20 January.
On a hastily arranged trip to the US to reinforce previously weak links with Trump’s transition team, Johnson also declared that the incoming administration had “a very exciting agenda of change”. Johnson’s claim about the UK’s future status as Washington’s preferred trading partner was a pointed reference to Barack Obama’s warning during the EU referendum campaign that Britain would be at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal if it chose Brexit, Guardian reported.
At the time, the US and EU were trying to complete a transatlantic trade and investment partnership, but that appears to have no future under the presidency of Trump who ran on a platform of opposition to multilateral trade deals.
After visits to see top aides in Trump Tower in New York and meet members of Congress in Washington, Johnson said, “Clearly, the Trump administration-to-be has a very exciting agenda of change. One thing that won’t change, though, is the closeness of the relationship between the US and the UK.
“We are the number two contributor to defense in NATO. We are America’s principal partner in working for global security and, of course, we are great campaigners for free trade. We hear that we are first in line to do a great free trade deal with the United States. So, it’s going to be a very exciting year for both our countries.”
Johnson's trip to the US before Trump’s inauguration on 20 January was aimed at making up a deficit in relations with the new administration, due in some part to Johnson’s past disparaging remarks about the president-elect who he once described as “unfit” to hold office in the White House.