Sunak looks for hope in Trump to strike US trade deal after Biden scraps talks

Sunak looks for hope in Trump to strike US trade deal after Biden scraps talks

WATCH: Donald Trump speaks to Nigel Farage about Boris Johnson

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 19/12/2023

- 11:49

President Biden has been reluctant to discuss a deal with the UK after launching a series of protectionist policies

Government sources have pinned their hope on Donald Trump for a US trade deal after President Biden cancelled early stage negotiations.

According to Whitehall sources, ministers have said they hoped a post-Brexit free trade agreement (FTA) could be revived under a second Trump administration.

A Whitehall source told The Telegraph: "When an agreement was being drawn up, it was because Trump had said that a trade deal with the UK was a possibility, so a non-Biden White House might be more amenable.

"We have always said on our end that if America wants to do a deal, we’re ready to do a deal."

Trump and Sunak

Sunak looks for hope in Trump to strike US trade deal after Biden scraps talks


However, they added: "There’s a lot you can do outside a trade deal, but Trump was previously someone who said that a trade deal was a possibility."

It comes as the chance of an FTA under the Biden administration is now thought to be "zero" following a series of protectionist policies, nicknamed "Bidenomics."

President Biden is currently under pressure from the left of his party after it was reported that Biden had quietly scrapped talks over an interim deal, known as a "foundational" agreement.

Senators argued that such an agreement would undermine protections for US workers ahead of next year’s election.



President Biden has been pushing a policy of "Bidenomics"


President Biden has halted trade talks with other countries, as his administration focuses on building up US manufacturing in key industries.

There have also been major holdups in negotiations over trade between the UK and the US following Brexit.

This includes Britain’s decision not to allow chlorine-washed chicken from US farmers to be exported to the UK, which has been controversial on the other side of the Atlantic.

Also, any future Trump administration would be unable to start negotiating with the UK until after the next inauguration in January 2025, after the UK's next General Election, where they could be negotiating with a Labour Government, led by Sir Kier Starmer.


Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Kier Starmer


​A UK Government spokesperson said: "The UK and US are rapidly expanding co-operation on a range of vital economic and trade issues building on the Atlantic Declaration announced earlier this year."

The Telegraph reports Labour’s plan for US trade relations would not involve seeking a full FTA with the US.

Instead, Sir Kier Starmer's party would more likely focus on smaller agreements in specific areas to avoid hold-ups over key issues.

Some of these would likely include agreement on critical minerals used in electric car batteries, like lithium and cobalt, the pharmaceutical industry, AI and quantum computing.

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