Negotiations on UK’s Future Trading Relationship with US Update 12 August

The third UK-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiating round took place from 27 July to 7 August 2020.

There were 33 sessions held in the round, covering 21 different workstreams. Positive progress continues to be made in many of the areas covered by an agreement.

Most chapter areas are now moving into the advanced stages of talks, with particularly detailed, text-based discussions taking place on Intellectual Property. The UK and US also held their first text-based discussions on Rules of Origin.

In parallel to the negotiations, the International Trade Secretary held a series of key meetings with the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.

In these meetings both sides reviewed progress in the negotiations. The International Trade Secretary reasserted the UK’s priorities in an FTA, and both sides reaffirmed their commitment to negotiating a comprehensive and ambitious agreement. In terms of the timeline of negotiations, it was agreed that they should continue at pace throughout the Autumn.

Further talks will be held between the third and fourth negotiating round, which is expected to take place in early September. The two sides are expected to exchange their first Market Access offers in this time-period.

In separate discussions the International Trade Secretary also set out the UK’s position on wider UK-US trade issues, in particular U.S. retaliatory tariffs on UK products including Scotch whisky. She was clear that the UK considers these tariffs to be unacceptable and continued to push for their immediate removal.

Due to considerations relating to Covid-19, the UK and US have taken a joint decision to postpone the SME Dialogue planned to take place in Boston later this year. We hope to rearrange in Spring 2021.

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