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Betting on a US trade deal is a high-risk game

The UK is at a cross-roads over its future trade policy. Betting on a US trade deal to replace an EU trade deal is a high-risk game, says Alex Altmann.

The US elections are pointing to a win by the Democrats, who are critical about the UK’s exit from the EU. A US trade deal with Joe Biden in the White House will only work if the UK reaches a sensible Brexit deal with the EU first.

But even if we see a different outcome of the US election, putting a US deal before a comprehensive EU trade agreement does not make sense for various reasons. 51% of consumer goods in the UK are imported from the EU and imposing unnecessary trade barriers with your biggest trading partner, like expensive tariffs, is not wise.

Furthermore, 58% of foreign direct investment in the UK comes from European companies, compared with around 29% from the US. Shutting the door on European investors does not help businesses recovering from the economic problems we face next year.

There is some £640 billion of annual trade at stake. The EU is offering the UK a trade deal with tariff-free trade in goods as well as minimising barriers in service sectors. The business community hopes that a trade deal with the EU can be concluded so that at least some degree certainty returns.

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to discuss the above or how it may affect you, please get in touch with your usual Blick Rothenberg contact or Alex Altmann, using the details to the right.

For any press queries, please contact David Barzilay whose details are to the right.

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