President Donald Trump has talked up the prospect of a “tremendous” trade deal with the United Kingdom during his keynote speech at the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, Switzerland.
Speaking to political and business leaders in a wide-ranging speech that took several victory laps over the performance of the U.S. economy under his leadership, President Trump also hailed a new era of trade deals which emphasised “reciprocity” — fairness for both parties — namechecking new deals with Japan and others, as well as others to come.
The President particularly pointed to the United Kingdom as a future partner for trade, hailing “wonderful” Prime Minister Boris Johnson, himself fresh from winning a landslide election victory over the increasingly hard-left Labour party last month, and expressing his anticipation at signing a deal. He said:
The United States has also concluded a great new trade deal with Japan, approximately $40 billion. And completely negotiated our deal with South Korea. We’re also negotiating many other transactions with many other countries.
We look forward to negotiating a tremendous new deal with the United Kingdom. They have a wonderful new Prime Minister, he wants very much to make a deal, as they say.
This is not by far the first time President Trump has praised Boris Johnson. Immediately following the election, the President wrote “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN!”, and said the two nations would be free to sign a “massive”, “bigger and more lucrative” trade deal than would have been possible with the European Union
The United Kingdom signing a trade deal — or even just making obvious progress to concluding it — is looking likely to be a crucial part of Britain leaving the European Union over the course of 2020. Not only would it enhance economic activity with the world’s largest economy for trading nation Britain, but the success of the country outside the European Union will offer crucial leverage to UK negotiators in Brussels.
The European Union has — as it has through every stage of the Brexit process so far — acted with intransigence over the prospect of a trade deal so far, but Britain signing a strong mutual deal with the United States quickly would place enormous pressure on Eurocrats from European national leaders to act sensibly.
As Breitbart London reported at the weekend of Boris Johnson’s plans to make the deal work:
Mr Johnson has approved ministers’ plans to go “hell for leather” for a rapid U.S. free trade agreement… There are reportedly 70 civil servants in Whitehall prepared to work on an American trade deal, while there are smaller teams of 20 to 40 working on trade deals with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
A source told a British newspaper: “If we can do a deal on beef with the US, that is beef we don’t need to buy from Ireland, which means we have some leverage with the EU.”
The Prime Minister has even threatened to walk away from negotiations if the EU isn’t willing to concede ground.
President Trump’s comments follow those by others including ambassador to London Woody Johnson and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is 2019 said America will “be ready on the doorstep, pen in hand”, to sign a trade deal with the UK post-Brexit.