Trump Prepared to Make Bilateral Trade Deal If UK Ditches EU ‘Shackles’

US President Donald Trump (L) speaks at a business roundtable discussion at St. Jamess Palace in London on June 4, 2019, on the second day of the US president and the First Lady's three-day State Visit to the UK. - US President Donald Trump turns from pomp and ceremony to …
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

President Donald J Trump has said that he is ready to strike a bilateral U.S.-UK trade deal once Britain frees herself from the “shackles” of the European Union.

In comments related to his State Visit, President Trump had said: “Also [a] big Trade Deal is possible once [the] UK gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk!”

The President is a supporter of Brexit and keen to make a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK — provided the country does not lock herself in a post-Leave arrangement with the EU that prevents free trade.

The remark came ahead of a breakfast business meeting at St James’s Palace between President Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday morning, where the outgoing Conservative Party leader is expected to tell the President that the UK will be in a position to strike an FTA after Brexit, according to planned comments seen by the Financial Times.

Also in attendance will be the international trade secretary Liam Fox, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, ten business leaders from British and American companies. Official pictures from the meeting reveal the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, in attendance.

US President Donald Trump (5L) speaks opposite Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (5R) at a business roundtable discussion at St. James’s Palace in London on June 4, 2019, on the second day of the US president and the First Lady’s three-day State Visit to the UK. – US President Donald Trump turns from pomp and ceremony to politics and business on Tuesday as he meets Prime Minister Theresa May on the second day of a state visit expected to be accompanied by mass protests. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The prime minister will discuss the “depth and future potential” of transatlantic bilateral trade, and will remind those attending that the U.S. is the UK’s largest trading partner.

“There are opportunities to seize, and there are challenges we need to work together to tackle. Today, let us look at how we do both,” Mrs May is set to say.

During the morning meeting, President Trump said: “This is an opportunity — I think a great opportunity — to greatly enlarge that [trading relationship with UK].”

“So we’re going to be working on that today, tomorrow, and probably into the next couple of weeks.

“But I think we’re going to have a very substantial trade deal… we’re going to get it done.”

The President and First Lady Melania Trump are set to meet the prime minister at Number 10 later in the morning, with the two leaders then holding an expanded bilateral meeting followed by a working lunch, and then a press conference.

During the meeting in Downing Street, President Trump and Prime Minister May are set to discuss Huawei, Iran, and Brexit.

The Sun reports that the formal gift from the prime minister to the president will be a framed copy of the Atlantic Charter, which was agreed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklyn D Roosevelt in 1941 which set out the war aims of the two leaders. 

The document is annotated by Prime Minister Churchill, who is much-admired by President Trump, evident in him returning a bust of the war-time British leader to the Oval Office in 2017 after it had been removed by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

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