US and UK to enter 4th round of trade talks this week

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Tuesday 15 Sep 2020

US and UK to enter 4th round of trade talks this week

(Sharecast News) - The resumption of trade talks between the US and the UK later this week will come at a pivotal moment for London as it tries to establish its future relationship with the European Union.
Negotiators will meet close on the heels of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government proposed Internal Market Bill, which could breach international law by violating Britain's Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

According to CNBC, tensions between the bloc and the UK could prove beneficial to Washington, providing an opportunity to push its own agenda and bring the UK closer to its regulatory orbit.

House Democrats however are opposed to the Internal Market Bill's changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol, a part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement which was added in to prevent a hard border in Ireland and thus respect the Good Friday Agreement signed in the 1990s.

The US aims to achieve key concessions on digital taxes against American firms, food standards and agriculture. The Trump administration also wants a wider market access for remanufactured, agricultural and pharmaceutical goods among others.

For its part, the UK has made it very clear that the National Health Services is "not on the table" in discussions, and will not accept changes in food standards.

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said on Monday he still believes the UK's latest approach to Brexit is a negotiating tactic and that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson still wants a deal, but "has a strange way of going about it."

"It's an extraordinary approach to take in a negotiation with a partner you're looking to build a future relationship with."

Coveney added that even if the US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden does not win the forthcoming election, he did not think that a trade deal with the UK would make it through Congress if the Northern Ireland Protocols are changed.

"Whether it's President Trump or President Biden after the elections in November, in my view there will not be a trade deal passed in Washington between the US and UK if the Good Friday Agreement is undermined by this British government."

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