Supply Chain

UK Plans To Cut Tariffs On US Agricultural Imports

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The United Kingdom is planning to cut tariffs on US agricultural imports to advance progress on a free trade agreement, reports the Financial Times.

The Department for International Trade was considering a 'big concession package' to negotiators from the United States over the coming months to cut the cost of certain agricultural imports, the report said, citing government officials.

The package has been led by UK trade minister Liz Truss, but is facing internal opposition from environment secretary George Eustice who has raised concerns that such a step could undercut UK farmers, the report added.

Concerns about such tariff cuts have also been raised by officials at the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, according to the report.

Formal Negotiations

Last week, the United States and Britain launched formal negotiations on a free trade agreement, vowing to work quickly to seal a deal that could counter the massive drag of the coronavirus pandemic on trade flows and the two allies' economies.

The talks, to be conducted virtually, will involve over 300 US and UK staff and officials in nearly 30 negotiating groups.

Agriculture was expected to be among the thorniest issues in the talks, given strong British opposition to US genetically modified crops and antibacterial treatments for poultry.

Trade in goods between the United States and United Kingdom was valued at $127.1 billion in 2018, with the two sides roughly in balance, while the services trade topped $134.8 billion.

Britain is the seventh-largest US goods trading partner, after South Korea, according to the US Census Bureau.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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