The shelved post-Brexit UK-US trade deal was not even on the agenda when Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden met today, the British Prime Minister has revealed.
Sunak said after his meeting with Biden at the G20 in Indonesia that the pair spoke about the UK-US “economic partnership”, but the state of trade negotiations was not mentioned.
A UK-US trade deal was considered to be among the biggest prizes of leaving the EU by Brexiteers, however talks stalled after Biden entered the White House last year.
Several rounds of talks were held with Donald Trump’s administration, however Biden has not prioritised signing fresh trade deals in his first term and ex-PM Liz Truss said a deal wouldn’t happen any time soon.
“We didn’t discuss the trade deal in particular, but we did discuss our economic partnership,” Sunak told reporters after his meeting with Biden at the G20 summit.
“There’s a range of economic cooperation that is happening and can continue to happen in the future. I’m filled with optimism about our ability to do more trade with the US, to deepen our economic relationship.
“But that can happen in lots of different ways and you’ll see that over the coming months and years.”
It comes after trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said during her Washington trip that the UK “shouldn’t get too hung up” on signing trade deals.
She said there were other ways to increase trade within the deals the UK already has.
Ministers in the Department for International Trade (DIT) have turned their attention to signing state-based memoranda of understanding in the US to help remove non-tariff barriers.
Indiana and Carolina were the first two states to sign agreements, with South Carolina set to be next.