Joe Biden has changed his position and is now open to restart UK-US negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal, according to UK international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
The international trade secretary also said the US is preparing to drop its Trump-era tariffs on British steel exports, with an announcement to come as soon as this week.
Trade deals have not been a priority for the Biden White House, with UK-US negotiations put on hold after his inauguration last year.
The two sides held several formal negotiating rounds under Donald Trump’s administration.
Trevelyan told The Sun that “Team Biden have leaned in and want to get going on getting our trade teams talking more fully about the issues that are important to both of us”.
“Could one do it in a year? Maybe, but I would have thought 18 months is probably, once one gets going, realistic,” she said.
“But it depends on the vagaries of politics and political life.”
Trevelyan is in Baltimore to hold a series of talks with figures in the Biden administration, including his trade representative Katherine Tai and commerce secretary Gina Raimondo.
The international trade secretary will try to push forward an agreement for the US to drop the Trump-era steel and aluminium tariffs at her meetings.
Joe Biden’s administration scrapped the respective 25 and 10 per cent tariffs on EU steel and aluminium exports in October, however they remain in place in the UK.
A Downing Street spokesperson today said: “We are working at pace to agree a resolution to resolve the Section 232 tariffs.
“We are optimistic the resolution could be reached soon.”
Trump’s White House said the trade barriers were required for national security reasons, however the policy was widely thought to be a part of the ex-president’s attempt to boost US manufacturing.
The UK responded with its own tariffs on US bourbon imports that still remain in place.