Liz Truss says she can ‘drive a hard bargain’ in US-UK post-Brexit trade talks
PUBLISHED: 10:08 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:08 05 May 2020
International trade secretary Liz Truss has insisted she can ‘drive a hard bargain’ as post-Brexit trade talks begin between Britain and the United States.
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Truss and the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer will open the talks with a video conference call on Tuesday.
The first round of negotiations will then continue for around two weeks, with around 100 negotiators on each side taking part.
Further rounds will take place approximately every six weeks with talks being conducted remotely until it is safe to travel again.
At official level the talks will be led by Oliver Griffiths at the Department for International Trade for the UK and Daniel Mullaney, the assistant US trade representative for Europe and the Middle East.
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Critics have warned that striking a deal will require Britain to accept looser US food and environmental standards as well as opening up the NHS to American firms - something the government denies.
Ahead of the first session Truss said a deal would help both countries’ economies to “bounce back” after the coronavirus crisis.
But government papers earlier this year revealed that the “boost” to the economy from such a deal would be less than 0.2%.
She said: “We want to strike an ambitious deal that opens up new opportunities for our businesses, brings in more investment and creates better jobs for people across the whole of the country.
“The prime minister has been clear that we champion free trade and this deal will make it even easier to do business with our friends across the pond.
“As we sit down at the negotiating table today be assured that we will drive a hard bargain to secure a deal that benefits individuals and businesses in every region and nation of the UK.”
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