Foreign secretary Liz Truss has said signing a UK-US trade deal is not “the be all and end all”, after negotiations stalled this year.
The former international trade secretary told a fringe event at the Conservative conference in Manchester that there are many other trade agreements the UK can close post-Brexit, apart from the long coveted one with the US.
It is now widely agreed in the Department for International Trade that a UK-US trade deal will not happen for several years, if ever.
The UK government was hopeful of closing a fast trade deal after negotiations formally began under President Donald Trump early in 2020.
Boris Johnson appeared to admit in his meeting with Joe Biden last month that a trade deal was some way off, with the Prime Minister saying “the US is not doing trade deals right now”.
Speaking today, Truss said: “We are ready when [the US is] ready…but there is a whole world out there.”
Negotiations are 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.
Truss’ successor Anne-Marie Trevalyn is now focusing on finalising a New Zealand trade deal, along with the UK’s bid to join the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Formal talks for the UK’s ascension to the bloc began earlier this week.