UK-US trade talk news: Liz Truss makes update after 200 negotiators complete first stage

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Today the Government published an update on UK-US trade talks, with Trade Secretary Liz Truss branding the recent negotiations a success. The talks took place earlier this month, between May 5-15, and involved 200 negotiators discussing the terms of a free trade agreement (FTA).

Writing on Twitter, Ms Truss said: “Today we are publishing the outcomes of the First Round of negotiations for the UK US FTA Flag of United Kingdom which were positive and constructive.”

She also shared a link to a Government press release detailing the progress made between the two sides.

The document, written by the Tory MP and Department for International Trade, highlights why it is so important a FTA is reached between the UK and the US.

It states: “An FTA with the US can help create opportunities for UK businesses, provide better jobs and boost the economy in every part of the country.”

The document also reveals the two states carried out extensive discussions encompassing nearly 30 different areas.

For example, the negotiators discussed: telecoms, financial services, market access for goods and the environment.

Reflect on the talks, Ms Truss said: “The meetings were positive and constructive, reflecting the mutual commitment to secure an ambitious agreement that significantly boosts trade and investment between our economies, the first and fifth largest in the world.

“Both sides recognised the unprecedented circumstances in which these negotiations took place, with significant emphasis placed on supporting the post-Covid economic recovery.”

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Ms Truss is hopeful the next stage of talks can proceed at “an accelerated pace”.

She said a second round of virtual talks will take place in the weeks beginning June 15 and 22.

Ahead of these dates, Ms Truss said the two negotiating teams will be in frequent contact, meeting virtually “on a rolling basis”.

The Trade Secretary added: “During the meetings, the teams discussed their respective objectives and agreed on ambitious next steps for coming talks.

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“Our preparatory work makes it possible for the UK and United States to quickly advance negotiations in a number of substantive areas that will shape our future bilateral trade relationship.”

The swift development of the trade talks with the US appear in stark contrast to the negotiations held with the EU, which appear to have reached a stalemate.

The two sides are running out of time to reach an agreement, with the EU transition period due to end on December 31.

Boris Johnson has so far resisted calls to extend the transition period.

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