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EXCLUSIVE/ Any free trade agreement between Britain and the United States will take years rather than the 90 days mooted by Donald Trump’s supporters, the former US ambassador to the EU warned the day before (26 January) British Prime Minister Theresa May meets the new president.
Professor Ted Malloch, hotly tipped to be the next US envoy to the EU, has claimed the deal could be struck in 90 days. He has also predicted that the euro could collapse within 18 months.
Both of Malloch’s claims were dismissed by Anthony Gardner, who served as US ambassador to the EU under Barack Obama’s administration.
Gardner, who was involved in EU-US talks over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement over the last three years, told EurActiv.com, “No one knows how long a US-UK trade deal will take but it is not going to take 90 days.
“Anyone who’s suggestion is that this will be a 90 day quick, easy job will be disappointed, for reason that I think have been cited often by experts.”
“Free trade agreements take a long time, these are complicated agreements to negotiate. […] It’s going to take years.”
As well as Malloch, Trump ally Nigel Farage, the former leader of the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party, has made the 90-day claim. The British government has signalled it is very much in favour of a swift deal.
But Gardner warned that that Trump’s enthusiasm for bilateral trade deals stemmed from his desire to put “America First” and that Britain would be disadvantaged in any future talks.
He said, “Now why does this president want to go bilateral? Because the leverage of the United States will always be much higher than in a deal where the United States is negotiating with a regional economic organisation like the EU or a trading bloc.
“He has quite clearly stated that he wants to protect American jobs and protect American workers and he thinks the best way of doing that is to basically buy local. Why would he then throw open the borders to competitive products from the UK that will dislocate American jobs and American workers?”
>>Read: Full story on EurActiv
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