Liz Truss working on ‘big concession package’ to secure post-Brexit trade deal with US

PUBLISHED: 09:46 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 14 May 2020

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (on screen) as they formally begin the UK-US trade talks during a video conference call. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (on screen) as they formally begin the UK-US trade talks during a video conference call. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire.

International trade minister Liz Truss is reportedly preparing a “big concession package” to secure a trade deal with Donald Trump and the United States.

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Despite fears from both opposition parties, and ministers in her own cabinet, Truss is looking to cut tariffs on US agricultural imports in order to secure a free trade deal.

The Financial Times reports the Department for International Trade is looking at a “big concession package” in the next few months.

Truss is said to be spearheading the tariff cuts but is facing opposition from environment secretary George Eustice and cabinet minister Michael Gove, who fear it will undercut British farmers.

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Officials at Defra said cutting such tariffs could be “the thin end of the wedge” which will lead to a lowering of animal welfare standards.

But a trade department official has insisted the package is still in draft.

MORE: Farmageddon - How the countryside is being shafted by Brexit leaders

“The US-UK negotiations only started last week — it is far too early to talk about any tariff changes,” they told the FT.

“We’ve been clear that we will get a deal that works for the whole UK, including our farmers. Any trade deals must be reciprocal too.”

Last week Truss insisted she could “drive a hard bargain” in the trade talks between the US and UK.

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