Donald Trump is looking to secure a series of ‘mini’ Brexit trade deals with the UK, his trade chief has claimed.
Trade representative Robert Lighthizer suggested that the US and UK could agree deals which reduce tariffs on items such as Scotch whisky if a pact is successful.
The government hopes to broker a full free trade agreement with Trump’s successor as president, Joe Biden, but a mini-deal could ease trade before then.
Talks on an interim deal emerged after the UK dropped tariffs against the States over subsidies for aerospace firms.
Lighthizer told the BBC: “I’m talking to (International Trade Secretary) Liz Truss, about trying to work out some kind of a deal … I’m hopeful we can get some kind of an agreement out you know, we don’t have a lot of time left.
“We have the advantage in that both the US and the UK – particularly the current government of the UK – are not big subsidisers, where some other countries are more inclined to subsidise. So it would be helpful if we could come to some kind of agreement.”
Scotch whisky was badly affected when Mr Trump’s White House hit the EU with tariffs on £5.6 billion worth of goods in retaliation for state support given to Airbus.
The EU responded with tariffs on £3 billion of US goods over subsidies given to Boeing but the UK will suspend those measures from January 1 after the post-Brexit transition period ends.
Ministers hope the move will help bring the US towards a reasonable settlement over the Airbus-Boeing row and show the UK is serious about reaching a negotiated outcome.