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US officials believe trade deals with UK and EU possible by year-end 2020

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Thursday 23 Jan 2020

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - The US has raised the prospect that trade deals with both the United Kingdom and the European Union could be in place by year-end 2020.
America's Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, voiced that hope in remarks to Fox Business News on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In fact, he believed that it would be easier to ink a deal with the UK given the greater similarities between the two economies.

"Both are very heavily services-oriented and within services, such as financial services there's already a pretty high degree of integration and coordination, so it should be much easier mechanically," Ross reportedly explained.

US Secretary of State, Steve Mnuchin, was in similar frame of mind, reportedly saying at a press briefing: "It is an absolute priority of President Trump and we expect to conclude that with them within this year. It will be great for them and great for us."

The UK is set to leave the EU at the end of the month and it will initiate a period of negotiations with the bloc to secure a trade deal and attempt to allow business to continue operating with the least frictions.

It will also have to strike a new trade deal with the US without any involvement from the EU.

For the European side, the day before, European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, said a deal with the US could be agreed in weeks - a claim that took some observers by surprise.

Mnuchin also said he would head to London over the next weekend to meet with his counterpart, Sajid Javid to talk especially about trade.