Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

Brexit

British trade minister to meet top US officials next week

Liz Truss is scheduled to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday and Tuesday

Britain's International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is due to head to the US for trade talks. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is due to head to the US for trade talks. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

British Trade Minister Liz Truss will meet top US officials in Washington next week to assess progress on reaching a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Ms Truss is scheduled to meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday and Tuesday, a spokesman for the US Trade Representative's Office said on Saturday.

After leaving the European Union in January, Britain is keen to stand alone and has started a series of trade negotiations with other countries. A deal with the United States is seen as a priority.

Ms Truss has previously said there was no timetable set for Britain's trade talks with the United States, adding that British negotiators had made "very good progress" despite conducting talks via video conference due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We're not going to rush into a deal and there is no deadline. We will be tough in pressing our interests," Ms Truss told a parliamentary committee in June.

The British embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

The Financial Times had reported late in July that the British government had abandoned hopes of clinching a free trade deal with the United States ahead of the American presidential election on November 3, with officials blaming the pandemic for slow progress.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to London last month that the United States and Britain still have more work to do on a free trade deal.

"A third round (of negotiations) scheduled for later this month, a primary focus for the United States is to see that we can make progress on this and bring this to a closure just as quickly as possible," Mr Pompeo said.

Updated: August 2, 2020 04:58 AM

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