US must compromise to get UK trade deal, says Johnson

Boris Johnson

Biarritz (France), Aug 25: The US must lift restrictions on UK businesses if it wants a trade deal with the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Travelling to the G7 summit here in France, Johnson said there were "very considerable barriers in the US to British businesses", the BBC reported on Saturday.

Johnson said he had already spoken to US President Donald Trump about his concerns, adding he would do so again when they meet on Sunday morning.

He will also hold talks with EU Council President Donald Tusk.

"There are massive opportunities for UK companies to open up, to prise open the American market," Johnson said.

"We intend to seize those opportunities but they are going to require our American friends to compromise and to open up their approach, because currently there are too many restrictions."

Offering an example of a restriction, Johnson said: "Melton Mowbray pork pies, which are sold in Thailand and in Iceland, are currently unable to enter the US market because of, I don't know, some sort of food and drug administration restriction."

He continued: "UK bell peppers cannot get into the US market at all.

"Wine shipments are heavily restricted. If you want to export wine made in England to the US you have to go through a US distributor.

"There is a tax on British micro-breweries in the US that doesn't apply to US micro-breweries in the UK."

Last month, Trump said talks about a "very substantial" trade deal with the UK were already under way.

He said a bilateral post-Brexit deal could lead to a "three to four, five times" increase in current trade - but provided no details about how that would be achieved.

However, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said a UK-US trade deal would not get through Congress if Brexit undermined the Good Friday Agreement.

Pelosi said the UK's exit from the EU could not be allowed to endanger the 1998 Irish peace deal, which the US helped facilitate.

Trade deals involve two or more countries agreeing a set of terms by which they buy and sell goods and services from each other.

Deals are designed to increase trade by eliminating or reducing trade barriers. These barriers might include import or export taxes (tariffs), quotas, or differing regulations on things such as safety or labelling.

IANS

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