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U.S. Treasury chief Mnuchin says optimistic about U.S.-UK trade deal

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U.S. Treasury chief Mnuchin says optimistic about U.S.-UK trade deal

Elizabeth Howcroft, William Schomberg
 

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at Chatham House in London, Britain, January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

 

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he was optimistic the United States and Britain, soon to be out of the European Union, would strike a trade deal this year and that he had discussed it with Britain’s finance minister on Saturday.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump is keen for progress on trade talks before November’s presidential election, while in Britain the prospect of a deal has been touted by Brexit supporters as a way to offset the impact of leaving the EU and to exert leverage over the bloc in trade talks between London and Brussels.

 

“I’m quite optimistic. I think the prime minister and the president have a very good relationship,” Mnuchin told an audience at the Chatham House think tank in London.

 

Mnuchin said he had a breakfast meeting with his British counterpart minister Sajid Javid on Saturday, having also spoken to him this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

 

“We’re focused on trying to get this done this year because we think it’s important to both of us,” he said.

 

After the United States recently concluded the initial phase of a trade agreement with China, deals with Britain and the European Union were now the priority, Mnuchin said.

 

While Mnuchin conceded that Britain may need to finalize some issues with the EU before it could discuss them with Washington, he didn’t see this leading to a delay.

 

“I think a lot of the issues can be dealt with simultaneously and again we look forward to continuing a great trade relationship, and, if anything, I think there will be significantly more trade between the U.S. and the UK,” he said.

 

Asked by a reporter if Britain’s plan to implement a digital services tax on U.S. technology giants such as Facebook (FB.O) and Google (GOOGL.O) could hinder the trade negotiations, Mnuchin said that he discussed the issue on Saturday with Javid.

 

Washington is threatening to put tariffs on products from the EU’s member states if they follow through with a plan to introduce a new tax on U.S. tech giants.

 

“The U.S. feels very strongly that any tax that is designed specifically on digital companies is a discriminatory tax and is not appropriate,” Mnuchin said.

 

Britain has said it intends to implement the tax, while France has put off its plans to wait for broader negotiations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

 

Mnuchin said he wanted to narrow the U.S. trade deficit with the EU but that differences between the bloc’s member states would complicate negotiations.

 

“When we talk about the EU, one of the challenges is some of these issues are really only a couple of countries, but I think, as you know, because of the EU we can’t negotiate these things on a bilateral basis,” he said.

 

“One of the challenges of dealing with the EU is even within the EU they have different views,” he added.

 

Additional reporting by Sarah Young; editing by David Evans and Hugh Lawson

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-26
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6 minutes ago, blazes said:

 

Chomper, I visualise you waiting, breathlessly (so take care), for the first news story that you can be #1 to offer an opinion on.

Unfortunately, your opinions kind of slide off the back of your head and achieve nothing in the way of rational discussion.

Just to help you (sincerely), why not start with telling us all how come "the UK is desperate for a deal"?  This, mind you, is the same country that managed over 300 or more years to build the most powerful trading bloc on earth.  I am not suggesting that the UK should go back to old-fashioned colonialism, but I have every confidence that the many many brilliant entrepreneurial types in the UK will be able to raise the country back to some (alas, not all) of its former supremacy.

I’ll take you at your word that you ‘visualize me’, I’d rather not think about why, I’m sure it’s not healthy.

 

You hark back to empire, not a surprise, seem not to know the empire has gone or that outwith the EU the UK has zero trade deals. 

 

 

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Chomper, you are so anxious to get in some snippy reply that you fail to see that you are misrepresenting the person you are trying to put down. In this case me!  But look, I did not, NOT, say that the Empire was still with us. But I did attempt to say that the qualities that made imperial development so energetic and triumphant are still with us...it's part of the British DNA.

 

And, Chomper, I hate to point out ignorance on your part, but when you say that the "with the EU the UK has zero trade deals" you ought to recall (it's not that difficult) that the UK is still within the European Union, and thus unable to conduct trade negotiations outside the Union.

Tut tut.

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5 hours ago, rooster59 said:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he was optimistic the United States and Britain,

Sure US gain 1000% UK will lose 1000% !
Britons, shall not be happy !

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3 hours ago, robertson468 said:

And you have already seen the proposals?

No need, just look at the face of Boris handing over for free NHS to Trump!

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4 hours ago, blazes said:

Chomper, you are so anxious to get in some snippy reply that you fail to see that you are misrepresenting the person you are trying to put down. In this case me!  But look, I did not, NOT, say that the Empire was still with us. But I did attempt to say that the qualities that made imperial development so energetic and triumphant are still with us...it's part of the British DNA.

 

And, Chomper, I hate to point out ignorance on your part, but when you say that the "with the EU the UK has zero trade deals" you ought to recall (it's not that difficult) that the UK is still within the European Union, and thus unable to conduct trade negotiations outside the Union.

Tut tut.

You should perhaps read up on how the British obtained the empire and trade deals during the Colonial era, it will help you understand why the British are in such a weak position.

 

Again outwith the EU the UK as zero trade deals, hence the UK’s desperation for a trade deal. A state of affairs the US will use to their absolute benefit.

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5 hours ago, blazes said:

Chomper, you are so anxious to get in some snippy reply that you fail to see that you are misrepresenting the person you are trying to put down. In this case me!  But look, I did not, NOT, say that the Empire was still with us. But I did attempt to say that the qualities that made imperial development so energetic and triumphant are still with us...it's part of the British DNA.

 

And, Chomper, I hate to point out ignorance on your part, but when you say that the "with the EU the UK has zero trade deals" you ought to recall (it's not that difficult) that the UK is still within the European Union, and thus unable to conduct trade negotiations outside the Union.

Tut tut.

No, the UK is not unable to conduct trade negotiations. Only unable to sign them.

 

Japan seeking big concessions from Britain in trade talks                                        "Japan is seeking tougher concessions from Britain in trade talks than it secured from the EU, while negotiations between London and Tokyo are also being slowed by the looming risk of no-deal Brexit.

Japanese trade negotiators are confident they can extract better terms, the Financial Times reported, in a sign of the mounting difficulties facing UK officials as they attempt to line up post-Brexit trade deals around the .

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/08/japan-seeking-big-concessions-from-britain-in-trade-talks-eu-brexit              

 

Of course, if the prospects for concluding favorable agreement with other nations is so promising, then why is Johnson bothering to negotiate with the EU at all?

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5 hours ago, blazes said:

 

Chomper, I visualise you waiting, breathlessly (so take care), for the first news story that you can be #1 to offer an opinion on.

Unfortunately, your opinions kind of slide off the back of your head and achieve nothing in the way of rational discussion.

Just to help you (sincerely), why not start with telling us all how come "the UK is desperate for a deal"?  This, mind you, is the same country that managed over 300 or more years to build the most powerful trading bloc on earth.  I am not suggesting that the UK should go back to old-fashioned colonialism, but I have every confidence that the many many brilliant entrepreneurial types in the UK will be able to raise the country back to some (alas, not all) of its former supremacy.

Well, the US, for one senses weakness. I believe there's a topic in thaivisa.com that mentions the US threatening not to conclude a trade agreement with the UK if Johnson goes ahead and imposes a tax on big US tech corporations.

Do try to keep in mind that exports and imports play a far smaller role in the US economy than they do in the UK. So of far less importance to America.

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Please be very careful dealing with the USA at this point in time if trump senses anyway he can take advantage of you he will it’s his nature he’s always been that way.with all due respect at this time in history with brexit and all it’s issues you don’t have a strong hand so please use great care when dealing with trump

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8 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

You should perhaps read up on how the British obtained the empire and trade deals during the Colonial era, it will help you understand why the British are in such a weak position.

 

Again outwith the EU the UK as zero trade deals, hence the UK’s desperation for a trade deal. A state of affairs the US will use to their absolute benefit.

 

The British "obtained" the empire in exactly the same way as all the other empires in history did (including the Roman, the Spanish, the Portuguese and Dutch, and, of course, the American.)  Not pretty, but that's history for you.

 

"Outwith"?? this is a word I do not understand, but can only guess at.  I am assuming you mean "outside" (not something like "without").

 

Once again you repeat the error of berating the British for having no trade deals outside the EU!!!  Why do you commit this same error?  Allow me to point out once more that the British are not yet OUT of the EU, and therefore cannot begin, let alone to conclude, any trade deals.

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Don and Boris have the same hairstyle, except that Don uses dyed American badger hair and Boris uses British. I know there is going to be a deal on the badgers. I hope so, because I too would like to show my support of the Donald by wearing blonde badger, but his head is flat and fat so he does a side comb. If I do that, it looks like I am wearing the USS Nimitz sideways. So IM eagerly waiting for a trade deal, the Boris badger really fits my style, plus if I gel it to a point, it shows why I am me.

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