The UK is considering joining the current US-Mexico-Canada trade deal as hopes of a stand-alone deal fade after Britain leaves the European Union. –

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Ministers are considering efforts to stick to the existing US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement, or to close a series of small deals with the United States, after Boris Johnson appeared to recognize the independent US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement. The United Kingdom and the United States was not an imminent possibility.

On his visit to New York and Washington, D.C. this week, the prime minister no longer promised to secure a free trade agreement between Britain and the United States. At the time of the next general election in 2024.

He also admitted that US President Joe Biden has “a lot of catch” by reducing the chances of a deal soon between the two countries.

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Biden expresses concern about the NI . protocol

A senior government official suggested that an alternative path to boosting transatlantic trade might be for the UK to join the existing US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement, known as T-MEC.

They added that another option could be to pursue a series of smaller deals between the UK and the US on separate issues.

“There are different ways to do it, throw the ball into your field and it takes two ways to tango,” the source said.

Asked about the prospects for a US-UK trade deal when he sat next to Johnson before a meeting at the White House on Tuesday night, Biden said: “Let’s talk a little bit about trade. Today and we’ll have to resolve this.”

He did not reject the previous proposal, made by former US President Barack Obama, that the UK would be “ultimately” for a post-Brexit trade deal.

Biden also warned that post-Brexit deals between the UK and the EU should not end at a “closed border” on the island of Ireland.

“In terms of the Protocols (Northern Ireland), I have a very strong opinion of it. We have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort, the United States, it has been a huge bipartisan effort.”

“And I would not like to see, nor should I add, that many of my fellow Republicans would like to see a change in the Irish Conventions, and the end result of having a closed border in Ireland.”

The USMCA went into effect in July last year and replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which former President Donald Trump promised to replace when he took office.

New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she has raised the status of stalled trade talks between the UK and the US during her meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in New York on Monday.

In 2017, when Trump was US president, Johnson said the UK would be “first in line” for a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

But now the prime minister appears to be publicly admitting that the Biden administration is less interested in a deal that closes quickly.

In the FTA [free trade agreement]”The truth is Joe has a lot of fish to fry,” Johnson told reporters traveling with him to New York.

“It has a great infrastructure package, it has a better rebuild package. We want to do that, but what we want is a good FTA, a great FTA.”

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When asked in an interview with Sky News on Tuesday if he would get a free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States for the upcoming general election, Johnson said: “We will pursue free trade agreements around the world., even in the United States. It states. .

“I have every reason to be optimistic about this. But the Americans negotiate a lot.”

Since leaving the European Union, the UK government has reached agreements to expand trade agreements it previously had with Mexico and Canada as part of its membership in the bloc.

Ministers also announced their intention to start negotiations on updated trade agreements with the two countries this year, so that the agreements are “more relevant to the UK economy”.

The European Union does not have a free trade agreement with the United States after talks over a proposed deal faltered under the Trump administration before it was abandoned.

As part of a post-Brexit capacity for an independent trade policy, the UK government is also applying to join the Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam and Japan.