There is too big an appetite on both sides of the Atlantic – and too much progress already made – for the mutually beneficial UK-US Free Trade Agreement not to come to fruition, the Director of Get Britain Out, Jayne Adye, writes. 

Although the conclusion of the United States Presidential Election has yet to be finally confirmed, political commentators have been quick to dismiss the sitting President, Donald Trump – and with him, the prospect of any UK-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Regardless of who ends up being confirmed as President in January, the proposed FTA will not be side-lined.

There are too many factors at play for the potential President-elect Joe Biden to place the UK-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on the backburner, or even scrap it entirely, as some reports suggest.

Firstly, the United Kingdom and the United States already share a powerful trading relationship. The US is our single biggest trading partner and we are the US's sixth largest single trading partner – and growing.

There is increasing demand from businesses on both sides of the Atlantic to seal an FTA to reduce tariffs on a plethora of goods to boost the value of trade even more, especially when it comes to agriculture. Surprisingly the US exports more than chlorine-washed chicken – not that the media would tell you this!

This has even more relevance now, as we are all going through the worst economic crisis in living memory on both sides of the Atlantic. Why would any US President sacrifice an economic boost in times like this?

Secondly, the FTA in question is already being negotiated, and judging by the UK Government's update on the latest round of negotiations – which states the two sides will soon move on to discussing technicalities – by the sound of things, this Deal isn't too far away from completion. The Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss MP, has even set herself a deadline of June 2021 – which would only be 5 months into a new President's term. Certainly a helpful boost.

It is expected the two sides will undertake another round of negotiations before January 20th next year – the date on which President Trump's 2nd term will commence – or Joe Biden's Presidency will begin. It is important to remember – while a President sets the general tone for trade negotiations, it is the Civil Servants who carry out the grunt work – and note, they all stay in place, regardless of who is in power!

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Claims from the largely Remain-biased main stream media in the UK stating Biden will turn his attention elsewhere, are totally unfounded. Why would any incoming President give up an easy win? The Deal would be practically ready to sign the day he moves into the White House!

Another claim the media have pedalled has been that Prime Minister Boris Johnson wouldn't be one of the European Leaders Joe Biden would call first after the election. In fact the media couldn't have been more wrong! Prime Minister Boris Johnson received the very first call from Biden – even before both the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron. Right at the bottom of the pile was the President of the European Council, Charles Michel – who has only just received his phone call – 2 weeks after the Presidential Election!

The longstanding so-called 'Special Relationship' between the UK and the US is still very much alive. It would be a fatal misjudgement of any President not to prioritise this, especially in such uncertain times.

It is important to note that the European Union and the United States are not on the best of terms at the moment. A trade war has been ongoing for over a decade because state subsidies have been handed out to Airbus and Boeing on both sides of the Atlantic, which have both been deemed illegal by the World Trade Organisation. The EU has actually filed proceedings recently against the US – for $4 billion – over these claims. This litigation will be ongoing long after whoever takes their seat in the Oval Office and this is clearly something Biden may have to contend with.

Given the slow and bureaucratic process by which the EU negotiates with countries around the world, considering it has to reach agreements with an ever-increasing number of Member States – currently 27 – it is highly unlikely any other substantial Free Trade Agreement would be negotiated within the maximum term limit (8 years) Biden may hold office for.

Remember, the EU negotiated with Canada for over 7 years to land a fairly basic agreement!

So, my guess is it would be sensible for the United States to focus primarily on a far quicker and more effective trade deal with the United Kingdom – as this would be an undeniably better priority to focus on.

The reality is, it doesn't matter who sits in the big chair in the Oval Office and approves Bills come January 20th, 2021 – when we finally Get Britain Out of the EU and end the Transition Period at 11pm on December 31st 2020 – the appetite to complete the UK-US Free Trade Agreement will be too big a catch for it to be buried in the sand.

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