Trade

U.K. to Trump on Trade: Get in Line

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Both Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have floated the fantastical idea that a trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom could offset losing free access to the European Union's 500 million consumers, but any agreement between the two will have to wait according to British officials.

Speaking at Davos alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, British treasurer Sajid Javid stated the empirically true fact that a trade deal with the U.S. can only come after a trade deal with the European Union.

From Bloomberg:

Appearing side by side in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Javid both said reaching a trade agreement between the two countries would be a priority once Britain leaves the EU at the end of the month. The difference was that Javid said a deal with the EU will take precedence over any accord with the U.S.

“Our first priority is of course getting the agreement with the EU,” Javid told a finance panel at the World Economic Forum.

That wasn’t what his American counterpart wanted to hear. Mnuchin told the event that he was “a little disappointed” the U.S. wasn’t getting top priority. “I thought we’d go first,” he said. “They may be a little harder to deal with than us anyway.'’

This has been reported as a "snub" and it was apparently taken that way by the Trump regime, but that just confirms what an idiot Steve Mnuchin is.

A trade deal with the U.S. literally has to come after a deal with the European Union because Britain will still be a member of the European customs union for at least the rest of this year during a transition period. And while Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a legal deadline of the end of this year for negotiating a new trade deal to replace Britain's current relationship with the European Union, there's no guarantee they will make that deadline.

Britain will trigger the process of formally leaving the European Union this month, but they have yet to secure new terms of trade and immigration to replace what they're giving up. And until they secure new terms, negotiating with Britain still means negotiating with the European Union.

Steve Mnuchin would know this if he, you know, studied economics.

For their part, British officials should hope that they end up making a deal with a Democratic administration in 2021, not Trump.

  • muselet

    If Donald Trump and Boris Johnson genuinely believe the US can absorb as much of the UK’s exports as the EU, they’re delusional. (I’m doing my part, buying as many Maltesers and Hobnobs as I reasonably can, but it’s not enough.)

    If Steve Mnuchin is genuinely disappointed the UK would deal with the EU first, then he needs to study up on trade.

    I have little use for Sajid Javid, who’s cut from the same cloth as Johnson, but at least he has some faint understanding of how trade works.

    The trade deal those four would cook up would be a shocker.

    There’s nothing about this story that doesn’t make me uncomfortable.

    –alopecia