Anthony Phillipson, United Kingdom Trade Commissioner for North America, says the U.K. and the U.S. have a “shared ambition” to sign a free trade agreement before the November 3rd U.S. election.
Politico says Phillipson spoke last week at a Washington International Trade Association event, acknowledging that many trade experts are skeptical the two sides can complete negotiations quickly.
However, he says the U.S. and U.K. had extensive discussions over the outline of a future trade deal well before the first round of formal talks began last month.
Additionally, work is continuing to be done in between the formal negotiations.
“I think we’re running at this very, very fast in full partnership with our U.S. colleagues,” Phillipson says as another round of formal talks is underway this week.
The British trade official borrowed a line from Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who noted that “agriculture is the locomotive” that pulls along the rest of any U.S. trade agreement.
American industries have lobbied the Trump Administration to pressure the U.K. to accept American chlorinated chicken, beef hormone standards, and other regulations. Completing the trade talks which began in May over the course of six months would be very fast.