British and American leaders talk about FTA by telephone: “some people are in a hurry, others are not in a hurry”?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first European leader to speak to new US President Joseph Biden after he took office. The British Prime Minister’s office and the White House issued a statement respectively, saying two people discussed a series of affairs, including fighting against COVID-19, stopping the withdrawal of the WHO from the United States, and continuing to deepen relations between the two sides. One of the focuses of the relations between the two countries is whether the UK and the US can reach a free trade agreement after brexit. The associated press and other media reported that Johnson seems to be “more anxious” than Biden about reaching a free trade agreement, which can be seen from the statements of the two sides. The prime minister’s statement said Johnson and Biden discussed “the benefits of a possible free trade agreement between our two countries” and Johnson “reiterated his intention to resolve the current trade problems as soon as possible.”. The White House statement did not mention that the two had discussed trade issues, but only said they discussed tackling climate change, fighting COVID-19 and ensuring global health security. As a member of the European Union, Britain originally enjoyed the free trade arrangement with the United States, but after brexit, it had to negotiate free trade agreements with other economies. Many media reported that reaching a free trade agreement with the United States has become an “important priority” of the Johnson administration. In contrast with the British “anxious”, White House press secretary Jean pashaji said on the 22 day that the US side has not set a timetable for signing the new FTA, because the United States is currently mainly concerned about controlling COVID-19 and pushing through the new economic rescue plan in Congress. Biden’s nominated Treasury Secretary and former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, said at a congressional hearing earlier this week that Biden had made it clear that “no new free trade agreement will be signed until the United States makes major investments in jobs and infrastructure.”. According to the White House statement, Biden spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez ovlador before he spoke with Johnson. (Zheng Haoning)

(editor in charge: Ma Changyan)

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