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Talks between the UK and US negotiating teams slowed this month and look set to be put on the backburner, as Mr Trump faces an uphill battle to stay in the White House on November 3. Trade discussions between International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, and her US counterpart Robert Lighthizer, are understood to have hit a roadblock after the US refused to back down on imposing tariffs on British goods.
Inderjeet Parmar, head of International Politics at City University London, said the US had now “abandoned” any possibility of an agreement before the election unless the UK accepted its terms.
Professor Parmar added the coronavirus pandemic has shortened the timetable for talks and now a trade deal for Britain has fallen down the list of priorities.
Mr Trump currently trails his Democrat rival Joe Biden in many opinion polls with just over two months to go until election day.
Professor Parmar told Express.co.uk: “In practice, I think they have abandoned any idea of a trade agreement before November unless Britain agrees to all those changes.
“Now I don’t think that Liz Truss and the others who are in charge are in any kind of mood for that.
“So the fact that Trump is trailing in the polls, I think the main reason for no agreement is because of the pandemic really, that has really slowed everything down.
“So the fact he is trailing in the polls you could argue that it would give Britain more leverage.
“But I think everything is for the election for Trump and I am not sure a trade agreement is the top priority.”
Ms Truss met her US counterpart for a third round of talks in Washington earlier this month.
Ms Truss said the demands for US tariffs on British products were “unacceptable and unfair”.
The International Trade Secretary had hoped to convince Mr Lighthizer to go further, after the US initially dropped tariffs on just £5.75billion worth of British goods.
Following the discussions, Ms Truss said: “The Government is stepping up talks with the US to try and break the impasse, and will be entering into further discussions with my opposite number US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the coming weeks.”
The UK has since increased its preparations for trade deals with nations around the world as talks with the European Union continue to unravel.
The Department for International Trade has set up 11 groups covering a range of areas, such as investment, life sciences, and financial services, to help advise on negotiations.
Along with the US, Britain is looking to strike Free Trade Agreements with Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
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Ms Truss said: “This is about bringing business closer to the negotiating table and using their expertise to help secure the best possible deals that deliver jobs and growth across Britain.
“Talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand are entering their crucial latter stages, so it is only right that we step up engagement with vital industries to utilise their technical and strategic expertise.
“I want business in Britain to feel engaged and informed about the work we’re doing to build an independent trade policy and how it impacts them.
“As we recover from coronavirus we want to strike deals that benefit every part of the country so we can build back better and deliver a fairer country for all.”
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