Donald Trump has said he is working on a “major” post-Brexit trade deal with the UK that could be “very big”.
The announcement in a tweet came as International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is visiting Washington to prepare the ground for possible US-UK trade agreements after Britain leaves the European Union.
Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The E.U. is very protectionist with the U.S. STOP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
The US President criticised the EU’s trade relationship with the US, saying Brussels is “very protectionist” toward America.
Mr Trump’s tweet said: “Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The E.U. is very protectionist with the U.S. STOP!”
During his trip to Washington, Dr Fox said Brexit offered an “unprecedented opportunity” to reshape Britain’s trading ambitions.
He launched the first trade and investment working group meeting with US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, and, in a breakfast meeting with members of Congress, spoke about the existing trading relationship between each of the 435 US Congressional Districts and the UK.
Trade between the two countries is already worth more than £150bn ($200bn) a year.
But Dr Fox has also sparked controversy during his trip to the US because the Government has refused to rule out lifting a ban on chlorinated chicken as part of a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal.
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He is reportedly open to agreeing to such products – which are banned by the EU – being imported to the UK in order to secure an agreement.
EU rules mean the UK cannot sign a deal until after it has left the bloc by March 2019.
Dr Fox has accused the British media of being “obsessed with chlorine-washed chickens”.
But a powerful House of Lords committee is warning that a post-Brexit increase in imports from countries operating lower farm animal welfare standards could put UK producers at a competitive disadvantage.
“The UK has some of the highest farm animal welfare standards in the world and UK producers are rightly proud of those,” said Liberal Democrat peer Lord Teverson, the chairman of the House of Lords’ EU energy and environment sub-committee.
“We see no reason why Brexit should diminish those, as long as the Government is aware of the challenges ahead and acts accordingly.”