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Express: UK-US trade would ‘send prices TUMBLING for consumers’ and could be agreed in SIX months

Date: 04 04 2017

UK-US trade would ‘send prices TUMBLING for consumers’ and could be agreed in SIX months

A TRADE deal with the US that would send prices for British consumers tumbling could take less than six months to agree, a report said tonight.

UK shoppers would benefit from cheaper food, cars and clothes imported from America under the proposal to slash tariffs.

And British export firms could also receive a massive boost in the drive to slash tariffs.

The plan for a fast-track trade deal between Theresa May’s Government and President Donald Trump‘s White House administration is put forward in a report published tomorrow by the Euro-sceptic pressure group Leave Means Leave.

David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP and author of the report, rubbished claims that a new US-UK trade deal could take years to negotiate.

“Such a negotiation for an immediate short-term deal would be envisioned to last no more than 180 days,” Mr Campbell Bannerman said.

He added: “Brexit brings many global opportunities for the United Kingdom but the reaffirmation and deepening of the relationship between Britain and America through a new post-Brexit US-UK bilateral trade deal has to rate as the most natural, benign and highest priority of them all.

“We can take full advantage of being put right to the front of the US queue now for trade deals under the new President Trump Administration.”

And the blueprint, entitled “Right to the Front of the Queue”, has already won the backing of President Trump’s designated new ambassador to the EU.

Ted Malloch, a close ally of the president, said: “Our mutual and abiding interests, common worldview, congruence of sympathies, and the undeniably unique heritage of the Anglo-American tradition of liberty should be our true future together.

“With a shared Whig history, the King James Bible, the Anglican Church, long historical memory – all of these things make up a valuable Anglo-Atlanticist patrimony.

“Britain and America belong together not in Europe.  Taking up the cause of Locke and casting aside the philosophy of the European Rousseau, the Brits have with America cemented their place on the side of liberty.

“The Anglo-Saxon rule of law and democratic spirit has triumphed over statism and the centralization of power.

“The future will much need Anglo-American leadership – more than ever before. Perhaps, herein lie the true sinews of lasting peace.

“Nothing will build those bonds better than a special and deep Free Trade Agreement which can bind the two nations for generations to come.”

Under Mr Campbell Bannerman’s plan, a streamlined temporary trade deal would be rushed through before a more complex, long-term arrangement was thrashed out.

He argued that the initial deal would “lower or remove all duties, taxes or other import fees for goods between the US and the UK”.

At present, goods and services exchanged between Britain and the US face an average tariff of three per cent based on World Trade Organisation rules.

For cars, the figure is 10 per cent and for clothing and agricultural goods an even higher tariff of 12 per cent is imposed.

The tariffs could be reduced on almost all trade between the two nations virtually overnight, the report said.

As a result, retail prices for consumers would fall on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mr Campbell Bannerman’s plan would substitute the existing arrangements with a deal similar to the current trade agreement between the US and Canada.

Some basic food, animal and plant health and safety regulations would need to be agreed as part of the deal.

The Prime Minister’s charm offensive in the Middle East to build stronger trade links began with a gift to King Abdullah of Jordan reminding him of his family ties with Britain.

The Prime Minister gave the King a framed copy of the original recommendation for the Military Cross his British grandfather, Walter Percy Gardiner, received for gallantry in 1944 when he served in the Royal Engineers regiment.

She also gave the king a copy of the book Follow the Sapper, an illustrated history of the Royal Engineers.

April 3rd, 2017: Express