Jul 16, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC -- President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on July 13 that the United States and the United Kingdom plan to enter into a free trade agreement following the UK’s departure from the European Union March 2019. This comes after conflicting remarks the U.S. President made in an interview with The Sun newspaper the day before, where he said the current Brexit deal under negotiation by the Prime Minister would be unacceptable and would lead to the U.S. dealing with the EU rather than the UK.
Of a potential bilateral free trade agreement, Trump most recently said, “The United States looks forward to finalizing a great bilateral trading agreement with the United Kingdom. This is an incredible opportunity for our two countries and we will seize it full.”
May agreed, stating, “Turning to our economic cooperation with mutual investment between us already over $1 trillion, we want to go further. We agreed today that as the UK leaves the European Union, we will pursue an ambitious U.S.-UK free trade agreement.”
A bilateral trade deal between the United States and the United Kingdom would be very beneficial to the U.S. agriculture sector.
“The United States currently averages 55,000 tons of rice exports to the EU per year, with half of that destined for the UK,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings. “We need to support policies like a U.S.-UK trade deal that will enhance access for U.S. rice after Brexit, as well as keep our eye on the transition period between the time the UK exits the EU and when the country can conclude its own trade agreements. The past decade has been difficult for U.S. rice in Europe, and a bilateral deal with the UK is a great opportunity to strengthen our largest market in the region.”