Wednesday, 22 January 2020

U.K.’s Javid Snubs Trump’s Trade Offer, Saying EU Deal Comes First

U.K.’s Javid Snubs Trump’s Trade Offer, Saying EU Deal Comes First(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid risked a clash with President Trump’s government after suggesting the U.S. will need to wait in line for a post-Brexit trade deal until Britain finishes negotiating one with the European Union.Appearing side by side in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Javid both said reaching a trade agreement between the two countries would be a priority once Britain leaves the EU at the end of the month. The difference was that Javid said a deal with the EU will take precedence over any accord with the U.S.“Our first priority is of course getting the agreement with the EU,” Javid told a finance panel at the World Economic Forum.That wasn’t what his American counterpart wanted to hear. Mnuchin told the event that he was “a little disappointed” the U.S. wasn’t getting top priority. “I thought we’d go first,” he said. “They may be a little harder to deal with than us anyway.'’Once the U.K. has left the European Union on Jan. 31, it will be free to try and make trade deals with other countries outside the bloc. Javid said that after conversations this week with his EU counterparts, there is “a strong belief on both sides” they can strike a deal for goods and services by the end of 2020.Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has said the EU-U.K. and U.S.-U.K. talks will be held in parallel. Later on Wednesday in London, a British official suggested Javid had gone rogue and said there were no plans to prioritize any one set of trade talks over another.“From February 1 we are free to talk to any country which we like around the world,” Johnson’s spokesman James Slack said. “The EU has obviously said it’s not going to be ready to talk to us until March 1.” The U.K. plans to release a series of documents setting out its aims for trade deals with the EU, U.S. and other countries at the start of February.Javid was the only U.K. minister allowed to break Johnson’s ban on attending the World Economic Forum. On Thursday the Chancellor will address British businesses at an annual lunch in the Swiss alpine resort and is likely to face questions on his warnings they’ll need to adjust to new rules after Brexit because the U.K. won’t align with European regulations.\--With assistance from Lucy Meakin.To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica Shankleman in London at jshankleman@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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