Boris Johnson Won’t See US Trade Agreement From Joe Biden In Near Future
President-elect Joe Biden has dashed Boris Johnson’s hopes of sealing an early post-Brexit trade deal with the United States, claiming that ‘investments here at home’ must come first.
The prime minister had been close to signing an early trade deal with Donald Trump’s administration, which was fiercely opposed to the European Union, however those plans have been scuppered by Biden, who will take office next month.
Biden, who said Britain shouldn’t leave the European Union during the 2016 referendum, said he won’t be entering into any new trade deals until he can protect American workers first.
‘I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first,’ he told the New York Times, via the Guardian, explaining that education, energy, biotech, advanced materials and artificial intelligence would be the country’s first priorities.
‘I’m not going to enter any new trade agreement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home and in our workers and in education,’ he added.
Biden went on to say that rural areas of America will not be ‘forgotten’, which could be an issue if the UK refuses to invest in US agricultural goods, including chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef. This could well be a sticking point when it does eventually come to working out a deal, given that Biden is from Delaware, the US’s largest chicken producer.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg previously claimed the Democrats had told him, ‘We are not going to sign anything that the chicken farmers of Delaware don’t like,’ as per the Independent.
A US trade deal was listed as one of the big reasons as to why people should vote to leave in the EU referendum, meaning Biden’s refusal to partake in an early agreement is a huge blow to Eurosceptics.
Biden also announced plans to gain leverage with China by pursuing ‘trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices – that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations’.
‘The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our – or at least what used to be our – allies on the same page. It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies,’ he explained.
Meanwhile, Johnson could be looking to sign a deal with Asia-Pacific nations in a bid to make up for the lack of a trade deal with the United States. While the Foreign Office and the trade department aren’t able to properly engage with Biden’s administration until Inauguration Day in January, conversations have already been taking place with Democrat senators.
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