UK Foreign Secretary in Washington for Trade Talks Praises Trump’s ‘Warmth and Enthusiasm’

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: Queen Elizabeth II and US President, Donald Trump attend the D-day 75 Commemorations on June 05, 2019 in Portsmouth, England. The political heads of 16 countries involved in World War II joined Her Majesty, The Queen is on the UK south coast for a service …
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The UK’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has praised U.S. President Donald Trump for his “warmth and enthusiasm for the UK-U.S. relationship” during a trip to Washington DC to discuss a post-Brexit bilateral trade deal.

Mr Raab is on a three-day trip to North America to “fire-up” trade, and in a statement said: “I was delighted to meet the president and the vice president on my first visit to Washington as Foreign Secretary.

“We appreciate the president’s warmth and enthusiasm for the UK-U.S. relationship.

“The UK looks forward to working with our American friends to reach a free trade deal that is good for both countries, and co-operating on the common security challenges we face.”

The foreign secretary met with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland in Toronto on Tuesday and is due to meet with other senior figures in the Trump administration including National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before travelling to Mexico on Thursday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has prioritised securing global post-Brexit trade deals, in contrast to his predecessor Theresa May, whose own negotiating team was criticised in leaked documents by the Americans for failing to get the right people in the room. With both the foreign secretary and international trade secretary Liz Truss both in the United States to discuss trade with President Trump’s top team within two weeks of the formation of the new Johnson Cabinet, it is clear that is no longer the working culture of 10 Downing Street.

Ms Truss has lined up meetings with the U.S.’s top American trade officials, telling media that “negotiating and signing an exciting new free trade agreement with the U.S. is one of my top priorities”.

The international trade secretary continued that her team was “fast-tracking this deal so that businesses are able to take advantage of the golden opportunity to increase trade with the U.S. as soon as possible”.

“The US is our biggest trading partner and we have more than $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies. We want to get formal talks moving quickly,” she added.

Prime Minister Johnson is yet to meet with President Trump, but the two spoke over telephone last month after the prime minister assumed office, with the President’s office saying that during the conversation, “they agreed to immediately deepen and expand the bilateral economic relationship upon the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union”.

The comments came after President Trump revealed that his team is “working already on a trade agreement”, adding: “You know we can do with the UK, we can do three to four times — we were actually impeded by their relationship with the European Union; we were very much impeded on trade — and I think we can do three to four or five times what we’re doing.”

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