UK trade talks with US begin Tuesday

The first negotiating round is set to last two weeks.

UK trade talks with US begin Tuesday

LONDON — The U.K. and U.S. will launch talks on a free-trade agreement on Tuesday.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will hold an initial video call with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with around 100 officials listening in from both sides.

Truss pledged to drive a “hard bargain” with Washington and insisted a trade deal was “essential’ to ease the economic burden of the coronavirus.

The first round of talks is set to take two weeks, with further rounds roughly every six weeks. Britain hopes to win lower goods tariffs on its exports to the U.S. on things like cars and ceramics, as well as a package on services, among other things.

Ministers hope negotiations with Washington will pile pressure on the EU in the Brexit trade talks, where the two sides are at an impasse over key sticking points such as fisheries and level playing field rules to limit competition.

Truss said: “As we kick off trade negotiations this week, we will drive a hard bargain that benefits every part of the U.K. and works for the small businesses who are suffering most in this difficult period.”

Jeff Emerson, the spokesman for the U.S. trade representative, added: “I can confirm the talks start Tuesday by video-conference.”

On the U.K. side, the talks will be led by negotiator Oliver Griffiths and overseen by Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser Crawford Falconer. The talks will be held remotely until travel becomes possible.

Source : Politico EU More   

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Europe has been ‘naive’ about China, says Josep Borrell

The EU's foreign affairs chief says China has a 'different understanding of the international order.'

Europe has been ‘naive’ about China, says Josep Borrell

Europe has been “a little naive” in its relationship with China but its approach is becoming more realistic, said EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.

China is as much an economic partner as it is a “systemic rival that seeks to promote an alternative model of governance,” Borrell told France’s Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview published Sunday. He added that because both China and the EU promote multilateralism, it puts them “on the same side.” But this doesn’t mean they share the same understanding of global governance, especially in times of crisis.

“We Europeans support effective multilateralism with the United Nations at the centre,” the high representative on foreign affairs said. “China, on the other hand, has a selective multilateralism that wants, and is based on, a different understanding of the international order.”

“We have to see what is behind the word,” he said.

Borrell added that the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the rivalry between the U.S. and China, as both powers blame each other for the spread of the pandemic. As such, he criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s view of multilateralism. “[He] sees it as a zero-sum game where America would have everything to lose. This view is false,” he said.

But Borrell cast doubt on Trump’s suggestion that the virus had been engineered in a Chinese laboratory — one that was contradicted by the president’s own intelligence services. “One must always take the statements of the president of the United States with care,” he said, adding that “a few days ago, he recommended that we drink disinfectant to fight the coronavirus.”

Source : Politico EU More   

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