Trump ally Malloch backs
‘quick US-UK trade deal’
- Deal could take just 180 days
- It would eliminate tariffs on cars, food and clothes
- It would cement US-UK leadership in an uncertain world
- Boost for services companies in both countries
Ted Malloch, Donald Trump’s designated Ambassador to the EU, has backed a major new report into what a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal would look like, which is launched today (Tuesday 4th April 2017).
The report by campaign group Leave Means Leave calls for a quick limited trade deal – which could take just 180 days to agree – that would “lower or remove all duties, taxes or other import fees for goods between the US and the UK”.
Mr Malloch said that the answer to how the US-UK special relationship can “best survive the rest of this 21st Century” is “in a US-UK Free Trade Agreement, as spelled out in this thorough and well-documented paper.”
The report ‘Right to the front of the queue’ has been drawn up by trade expert David Campbell Bannerman, the Conservative MEP. It says “such a negotiation for an immediate short-term deal would be envisioned to last no more than 180 days. In short, we should go for the lower hanging fruit and be prepared to leave fruit on the tree”. It is recommended that a longer term, more ambitious deal would follow, covering more complex or involved areas.
Commenting on the report, Malloch, a close ally of US President Donald Trump, said that following the Brexit vote, the special relationship between the two nations should be reassessed as “the future of liberty depends on it”.
Mr Malloch 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.”
The report by David Campbell Bannerman says that the two nations would reconfirm their rights and commitments under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to remove or reduce technical barriers to trade longer term, by committing to working more closely together in a voluntary way but without EU-style harmonisation of standards.
Commenting on the report, David Campbell Bannerman MEP said:
“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.”
The report says that whilst the average UK-US tariff is under 3 per cent, this agreement could seek to introduce a Canadian-EU CETA style deal which would remove tariffs (CETA delivers 99 per cent access for non-agricultural goods and 92 per cent for agricultural goods). At present there are significant tariffs on UK-US trade on cars (10 per cent), agricultural goods and clothing such as US jeans (12 per cent tariff) which could disappear.
Other suggested elements of such a deal include co-operation over customs and trade facilitation, which can be streamlined to make customs procedures more efficient. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures that would cover both food safety and animal and plant health would be included, but be subject to a 5 year review before any change to current UK-applied standards, to avoid any controversial measures and to allow an informed, science-based debate before any change is allowed.
The report says that more clauses could be established to reinforce the substantial investment between the US and the UK further, to protect investors and ensure that Governments treat them fairly. In addition, there could be a cross-border trade in services that would make it easier for UK individuals and companies to provide substantially more services to American customers, and vice versa for the US.
The report adds that mutual recognition of professional qualifications will be “crucial to a post-Brexit Britain”, owing to the fact that professionals from the EU may seek to return to the Continent, citing potential uncertainty over visa arrangements. It would also address effective discrimination against American professionals wishing to work in the UK, and allow the UK to endorse a more global outlook.
Campbell Bannerman says that such a deal would enable consumers, producers, investors and financial institutions in the UK and the US to benefit from fair, equal access to each other’s markets.
The digital economy would benefit hugely under the plan as personal information on the internet would be protected and online services would not include customs duties, which would be a major boost for online retailers.
Although the focus of the paper is on a quick, limited deal, it says that the aim would be for a longer term second trade deal, which could include subsidies, competition policy, telecommunications and intellectual property, and suggests negotiations could continue uninterrupted from the first, fast deal.
The paper is primarily about trade but does also suggest a possible additional political Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) in parallel to regularise institutional cooperation.