Monday 2 March 2020 12:01 am

US trade deal objectives outlined by the Department for International Trade

The government will today publish its objectives for a UK-US trade deal, with negotiators aiming for an “ambitious and comprehensive” agreement.

The Department for International Trade has advised that official talks will begin this week, with new analysis revealing the trade deal is expected to increase transatlantic trade flows by £15.3 billion.

Read more: Acid-washed chicken could be on the menu in UK-US trade deal

The department believes this will increase the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) by £3.4bn, with ceramics, cars, food and drink, and professional services to benefit most from a trade deal.

Objectives for the talks will include increasing the flow of goods, services and investment; future proofing the deal for technological developments; and facilitating “greater choice and lower prices”.

International trade secretary Liz Truss said: “This deal with our biggest single trading partner will cut red tape for our small businesses, cut tariffs for our great products from dairy to cars and increase growth in all four nations.”

Top priority will also be given to protecting food safety and the NHS.

Labour’s main attack line throughout the General Election was that a Boris Johnson government would allow private US companies access to the health service.

Read more: Emmanuel Macron ‘not sure’ a UK-EU trade deal can be reached by deadline

The opposition has also alleged that a deal could see the UK divert from EU food standards and allow US agricultural practices, such as chlorine washing chicken.

Boris Johnson has consistently said that both of these accusations were untrue.

Commenting on the plans, CBI chief Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said: “The UK is beginning a brand new chapter in its global future, and a good trade deal with the US is a vital part of that story.”

“The US and UK already share the world’s largest bilateral investment relationship; now is the time to use it as a springboard for new jobs and investment here at home.”

Meanwhile, Institute of Economic Affairs director general Mark Littlewood said: “Removing barriers to trade with the 93 per cent of the world’s population who don’t live in the European Union is a vital task. A trade deal with the United States may well have considerably greater benefits than are imagined.”

However, he cautioned that the “government will need to continually tackle domestic vested interests who will seek to demand protectionism.”

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