Boris Johnson has conceded that the US is “not doing free trade deals around the world right now”, but insisted there is still a “great deal to be done”.
Johnson has been under pressure during his trip to New York and Washington, DC this week as it has become clear that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US will not get done any time soon.
Joe Biden played down the prospect of a quick US-UK trade deal in a joint press conference with Johnson yesterday.
When asked whether trade was an important agenda item, Biden said: “We’re going to talk a little bit about trade today and we’re going to have to work that through.”
Johnson appeared to admit today that a trade deal is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Speaking from in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, Johnson said: “The Biden administration is not doing free trade deals around the world right now but I’ve got absolutely every confidence that a great deal is there to be done.
“And there are plenty of people in that building behind me who certainly want a deal.”
Negotiations for the deal began under former President Donald Trump and were believed to have stalled over a number of issues, including US agricultural exports.
Trade deals have also not been a high priority for Biden so far, with the President winning the 2020 election with a more protectionist economic plan.
There was speculation this morning that the UK may try to join the USMCA trade pact involving Mexico, the US and Canada, however this was quickly shot down by Number 10.
A government source said: “We’ve made good progress on UK-US negotiations in recent months, ending the ban on British beef, drawing a line under the Airbus-Boeing tariffs dispute, and co-operating on vital areas like technology.