USTR Goes Virtual for UK Negotiations, Talks Begin Tomorrow

Woman on the phone inside a red UK telephone box, Big Ben in background
London calling
May 04, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and his counterpart in the United Kingdom (UK) are slated to begin long-awaited trade talks tomorrow, and in a nod to travel restrictions due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the negotiations will take place via video conference.

A U.S.-UK deal has been a high priority for both countries, but discussions have been continually delayed due to Brexit deadline extensions, COVID-19, and other political factors.

The UK has already begun formal negotiations for a trade agreement with the European Union (EU), from which they separated formally this year.  The UK remains in the EU customs union for a transition period that runs through December 31, 2020.  U.S. negotiators will be closely watching developments in the EU-UK talks, as much of what happens there will have implications for U.S.-UK discussions.

The U.S. rice industry stands to benefit from a trade deal with the UK, a net rice importer with longtime ties to American exporters.  USA Rice continues to work closely with U.S. negotiators in support of quota-free, duty-free access for all types and forms of U.S. rice into the UK.