International trade secretary Liz Truss has today named a new lead negotiator for UK-US trade talks in preparation for an incoming Joe Biden administration.
Amanda Brooks OBE will now lead talks, after her predecessor Oliver Griffiths moved to become the chief of the newly formed Trade Remedies Authority – an independent trade watchdog.
Brooks was previously interim director-general for Trade Relations and Implementation at the trade department and has worked across Whitehall in several other departments.
“With these appointments, we are bringing top quality expertise and experience to key roles as we strike new trade deals and re-establish the UK as an independent trading nation,” Truss said.
There has been much speculation that Biden will not be interested in closing a UK-US trade deal next year.
A source from the former Vice President’s transition team told The Telegraph earlier this month that a UK trade deal was “not a priority” for the first 100 days of Biden’s term.
This is significant as the UK has said a deal needs to be done before Congress’ Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, which prevents Senators from amending agreed trade deals, runs out mid-2021.
However, Truss told a virtual conference two weeks ago that Washington Democrats were committed to negotiations.
“We are working with both parties in the US and there is a consensus that a trade deal with the UK is a good thing and we’re determined to make further progress,” she said.
“We’re looking for an ambitious financial services chapter, with high regulatory standards and the agreement to facilitate cross-border flows.”