British Trade Minister Visits Washington
LONDON (Reuters) – British trade minister Kemi Badenoch will visit Washington on Monday to meet politicians and address business representatives to try to boost ties with the United States even as talks over a free trade deal have stalled.
A US free trade deal was touted as the one of the biggest prizes for Britain leaving the European Union. But hopes of a quick agreement were dashed when the incoming Biden administration put all free trade talks on ice.
Badenoch’s office said she would emphasize the need to promote strong trading alliances to challenge the threat of authoritarian states. She will also say Britain and the United States should work together on issues such as protecting long-term energy security and strengthening supply chains.
“Both the UK and the US know we cannot have security at home without security abroad, and we need to make the global economy resilient to future shocks,” Badenoch said in a statement.
The British trade department said Badenoch was due to meet with politicians, including US Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, and speak at a business roundtable event.
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In the absence of a broader trade deal with the United States, Britain has been working to secure memorandums of understanding with individual states.
Agreements were signed with Indiana and North Carolina earlier this year and talks are ongoing with several other states including Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
The state-level MOUs have been criticized by the opposition Labor Party as being no substitute for a full US-UK trade deal.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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