One thing the US-UK talks around a post-Brexit trade deal did not need was a presidential election on November 3 – an event that looks destined to muddy the already-murky waters swirling around the transatlantic negotiations. David Sapsted reports.


obody is sure if a Donald Trump victory would result in his toughening the American stance in the talks, the fourth formal session of which got underway in September.

Similarly, nobody knows if a Joe Biden victory would make it harder or easier to reach an agreement. On the one hand, Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow

at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, believes a Biden administration would be more inclined to make compromises over issues such as food safety standards and the controversial digital services tax. On the other hand, James Kane, an associate specialising in trade at the Institute for Government in London, does not believe US negotiators would drop many, if any, of their current demands, even if there were to be a change at the White House. “The US objective will remain to get US agricultural

products into the UK. That will still mean removing tariff s and non-tariff barriers like the ban on hormone-treated beef and chlorinated chicken,” he told Business Insider recently. “The US tried to do that with the European Union under Obama, and I don’t see why they’d do it any diff erently under President Biden.”

THE IMPACT OF THE DIGITAL SERVICES TAX As for President Trump, he – along with both Republicans and Democrats on a Senate committee that would have to ratify any deal – clearly remains furious over the digital services tax that became law in Britain over the summer. This will tax the earnings of tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, which, of course, are American. Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariff s on

UK car exports if the tax became law and, in August, Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate fi nance committee, and Senator Ron Wyden, the committee’s senior Democrat, issued a joint statement saying that the tax “unnecessarily complicates the path forward for a US-UK trade deal” and urged the UK to “reconsider this punitive action against its ally”. If that were not a large enough stumbling block, there

is a continuing impasse over agriculture, with London refusing to allow more imports of US meat products because of concerns over animal welfare, the veterinary drugs used by US producers and decontamination methods used on slaughtered poultry.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58