U.S. Ambassador: President Trump Eager to Make ‘Strong FTA’ with UK

US President Donald Trump (L) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May shake hands during a joint press conference following their meeting at Chequers, the prime minister's country residence, near Ellesborough, northwest of London on July 13, 2018 on the second day of Trump's UK visit. - Britain and the United …
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

The United States ambassador in London Robert “Woody” Johnson has said President Donald Trump and the American people are eager to make a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom.

“I cannot overemphasize the willingness of President Trump and the American people to make a strong free trade agreement between our two countries,” Mr Johnson said Thursday.

“It will be the standard bearer for all future trade agreements!” he added.

This has been the most recent signal from the President’s chief representative in the UK on the U.S.’s desired to sign a bilateral trade deal and quickly.

President Trump has said on several occasions that he wants to sign a “tremendously big” trade deal between the U.S. and UK after Brexit, with Mr Johnson saying the UK would be at the front of line — only “if Britain takes back control of its trade policy” and leaves fully the EU.

The ambassador raised doubts in July whether May’s plans would mean the country could fully extricate itself from the bloc’s regulations and instead be left shackled to its rules, stifling future free trade agreements.

The month prior, the ambassador said that the UK should abandon its “defeatist attitude” over Brexit saying, “The thing I want to get out more than anything else is an attitude that I feel I don’t see enough in this country and that is a confidence for where you are heading – light at the end of the tunnel with Brexit.”

“I’m super confident about the relationship between the US and the UK. I’m very confident about our future together, I’m very confident about what happens after Brexit,” he added.

A recent poll carried out by the Boston, Massachusetts-based Emerson College found that a majority of Americans support a bilateral trade deal with the UK post-Brexit.

Conducted on behalf of the Association of Marshall Scholars (AMS), a charity associated with the U.S. Marshall Scholarship Program which sends American postgraduates to study in the UK, found that 63 per cent of U.S. citizens want an FTA in place before or shortly after the UK leaves the EU.

The survey also found 58 per cent see U.S.-UK relations as more important than five years ago and 56 per cent see the UK as their most strategic international partner.

“The alliance appears to be increasingly important in the eyes of the American public,” executive director of the Association of Marshall Scholars Dr Nell Breyer said, according to a press release.

“In a period of deep uncertainty for the British public, they should know that Americans see the ties that bind us as increasingly significant, and there is strong American support for developing new opportunities to further this relationship,” Dr Breyer added.

In addition, nearly all respondents (91 per cent) rated the ‘Special Relationship’ somewhat to very important.

“It appears that, at least from the American perspective, a very special relationship still exists between the UK and the U.S. That is demonstrated in the unusually high consensus around the issue,” Emerson College Pollster and Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball said.

“Research suggests that a collective memory pervades society and events from the past leave traces of recollections that the current society recall in a variety of forms,” he added.

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