UK trade international trade secretary Liam Fox told Sky News on Wednesday that the US risked wider "consequences" due to its trade war with China and that the dispute should be settled via the World Trade Organisation.
— Sky News Business (@SkyNewsBiz) May 8, 2019
Mr. Fox said that the US should use the WTO rather than separate trade deals to resolve resolve global trade challenges, adding that such disputes could only be resolved through the international body.
"The point I was making today is that trade is not an end in itself," Dr. Fox said in a speech at the 2019 Global Trade Review event. "It's a means to an end."
— Department for International Trade (@tradegovuk) May 8, 2019
He also said that he did not believe there was much space on Brexit in talks between the government and Labour as the two sides debated a way forward on a Brexit plan that could pass Commons. But Dr. Fox sharply criticised and rejected any notion of the UK remaining in the European customs union, stating that it would force the UK market to remain a "commodity" to be traded by Brussels.
"We would be a commodity in that particular agreement, where the EU would be able to offer access to the UK as part of their offer," he added. "It's a situation that would leave the UK as a rule taker and in terms of our ability to shape trade policy would probably leave us in a worse situation than we are today, inside the EU."
The news comes as Trump's administration announced on 6 May that it would slap an additional $200bn in tariffs on Chinese imports on Friday and accused Beijing of breaking commitments made during previous trade talks. US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin also accused Beijing of backtracking on language within previous deals which could "dramatically" alter future trade talks. Chinese vice premier Liu and other delegates will meet in Washington on Thursday for further negotiations.