03:52 GMT28 November 2020
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – The talks between the UK and the US on a post-Brexit free trade agreement are on track and both sides expect to move forward after the 3 November presidential election in the United States, UK’s Department for International Trade said on Monday.

    "Following the significant progress made in talks to date, both sides are confident that we are on track for a comprehensive agreement which would provide a significant and mutual benefit to our economies. We believe we are in a good position to move forward after the U.S. election", the government body said.

    It said that last week was the most intensive round of negotiations held so far and that all chapter areas are now in the "advanced stages" of talks.

    "The round included focused discussions on market access for goods, including negotiations around product-specific rules of origin, which determines whether or not a product can benefit from preferential tariffs under the FTA", the statement said.

    Detailed textual discussions on a digital chapter and on the legal framework for the future agreement were also held, and both agreed to continue talks after the US election.

    After leaving the European Union on 31 January, the UK embarked on trade negotiations with the US, Japan, Australia and the EU, in an attempt to compensate for its departure from the European bloc.

    Any deal coming from those negotiations will have to wait for the conclusion of the transition period agreed between London and Brussels as part of the Withdrawal Agreement, which is due to expire on 31 December.

    Washington Knows London is 'Somewhat Desperate to Get Deal Done', Business Consultant Says

    During an online press briefing with London-based foreign correspondents on Friday, business consultant Allyson Stewart-Allen said the US has the upper hand in the trade talks with the UK government because Washington knows that the UK "has a lot to lose" in the event of a no-deal Brexit with the EU.

    "I think the US is in a really strong negotiating position because it knows the UK is somewhat desperate to get this deal done, while the clarity around the EU trade agreement advances", the Steward-Allen, a US citizen based in Europe for over 30 years, said in an online interview with London foreign correspondents.

    According to the analyst, based on this perception, the US trade team will feel "emboldened" and will press to have the so-called chlorinated chicken, beef, the UK´s National Health Service, intellectual properties, agriculture and a lot of other controversial topics on the negotiation table.

    Asked about the impact of the upcoming US presidential elections on the current UK-US trade talks, Steward-Allen said that regardless of who wins, the UK´s negotiating power is "significantly diminished" because its economy is retracting and shrinking, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of Brexit.

    She also said that whether incumbent President Donald Trump is re-elected, or Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins, the next US president will have other priorities, because, in terms of exports, the UK is not the biggest trading partner for the United States.

    US Election 2020, post-Brexit, Brexit, trade, United Kingdom, United States, UK, US
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