US trade deal: Boris prepares to ‘tick key political box’ to unlock agreement with Biden
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In a bid to shift Mr Biden into agreeing a post-Brexit trade deal, Mr Johnson has instructed his team to add climate change guarantees to negotiations. By doing this, it is hoped the team may entice Mr Biden, who has made a series of green pledges, into agreeing a deal with International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss previously declaring her intent to sign a deal by June. It is thought Mr Johnson’s team may now add certain pledges such as enhanced air pollution protections and corporate transparency on climate change to bring Mr Biden team to the table.
Sources involved in talks have stated further environmental and climate change commitments will tick boxes to spur an agreement on a trade deal.
With the UK hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference this year, the Prime Minister has emphasised the country’s green credentials.
An International Trade Department official told City AM: “It’s no secret that we need to tick key political boxes to get a deal over the line with Biden.
“The environment and climate change definitely will tick those boxes.”
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The two sides have been locked in negotiations and concluded the last round of formal talks on October 30.
Negotiations have covered 19 different sections with officials declaring large parts of the agreement have now been signed off.
However, it is unclear how Mr Biden will approach talks with the UK going forward given the domestic problems experienced in the US.
Issues have also arisen due to Mr Biden’s opposition to Brexit, and his comments surrounding the UK Internal Market Bill.
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Crucially, the US Trade Promotion Authority runs out in July 2021, and after that date, it will take much longer for any agreement to pass through Congress.
With many areas, such as digital services and financial services agreed, a source close to Ms Truss stated the deal can be adapted to the new administration.
They added: “The deal is at a stage where it can be adapted to the new administration and there’s particular scope to go further in the environment and climate change now.
“We have a very good relationship with US officials, the SME chapter is ready to go and we really are in advanced stages of negotiations.”
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While green commitments may help talks, expert for the Centre for European Reform, Sam Lowe, stated Mr Biden will not prioritise a trade agreement in his first year in office.
He concluded: “It remains unlikely that the Biden administration will prioritise new trade agreements with anyone in his first year, including the UK.
“However, were it to engage in trade talks the Biden administration would certainly be more receptive to including provisions on climate change in the text.”
A UK Government source added: “We look forward to working with the incoming administration on our shared priorities from climate change to trade and security.
“Significant progress has already been made on our trade negotiations and the UK stands ready to build on this and strengthen the economic partnership between our two countries.”
Currently, the UK and US have signed a mutual recognition agreement which contains conditions which accept the conformity assessments results from either side.
These agreements pay attention to certain sectors such as telecommunications equipment.
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