Britain and US to clinch trade deal 'this year': US Treasury Secretary

US Commerce Secretary insisted UK and US would have easier time striking the deal than the EU

Afp January 23, 2020
S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin believes a trade deal with Britain can be reached by the end of this year. PHOTO: AFP

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday a post-Brexit trade deal between the United States and Britain is a top priority and he expects it will be reached by the end of this year.

The top US economic official made his comments before heading to London to lay out ways London and Washington could reach the quick accord after the UK leaves the EU on January 31.

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Mnuchin's UK counterpart, Sajid Javid, will embark on trade talks with both the EU and the US, in the hopes of sparing the British economy from any short or medium-term shocks of Brexit.

Javid told the US "they wanted to accomplish both these deals in 2020. That's obviously an aggressive timeline," Mnuchin said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

A UK-US deal "is an absolute priority for President (Donald) Trump and we expect to complete that with them this year, which we think will be great for them and great for us," he added.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted the UK and US would have an easier time striking the deal than the EU, given close existing ties.

British finance minister aims to double UK growth after Brexit

"There are far fewer issues between the UK and US than there are between either of us and the EU because our economies are both very similar," Ross said.

Stressing financial services, Ross underlined "there's already a pretty high degree of integration and coordination."

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