Trump Adviser Says UK ‘First in Line’ for Trade Deal
John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, said during a visit to London that Great Britain will be “first in line” for a trade deal with the U.S. once we leave the European Union.
Speaking following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Bolton said the United Kingdom and the United States could strike “sector-by-sector” deals such as on car production and manufacturing, whilst fleshing out more complex deals in other areas later — a process he said his trade negotiators said was possible under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
“The main purpose of the visit really is to convey President Trump’s desire to see a successful exit from the European Union for the United Kingdom on October 31st, to offer to be of help in any way that we can and to express his hope we can have a fully comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom as soon as possible,” he said in comments reported by the Press Association.
Anglophile President Trump, whose late mother was British, has long-expressed support for Brexit and for striking a “cutting edge” trade deal after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
“To be clear, in the Trump administration, Britain’s constantly at the front of the trade queue, or line as we say,” Mr Bolton added, in comments constituting a now-running joke between the U.S. and British administrations, referring to then-President Barack Obama saying ahead of the 2016 referendum that if the British voted to leave the EU, their country would be sent to “the back of the queue” for a trade deal under the imagined presidency of Hillary Clinton, as the progressive Democrat falsely predicted would be the case.
The phraseology — Britons tend to say “queue” whereas Americans tend to say “line” — raised alarm bells with Britons and it was later revealed that then-prime minister David Cameron had asked Mr Obama to claim that Britain would be at the “back of the queue” to intimidate people into voting Remain.
Mr Bolton explained that British-American trade deals could be done “sector by sector” — in other words in a “modular fashion”, saying: “You could carve out some areas where it might be possible to reach a bilateral agreement very quickly, very straightforwardly.”
He added: “The idea of doing it in pieces rather than waiting for the whole thing is not unprecedented. I think here we see the importance and urgency of doing as much as we can agree on as rapidly as possible because of the impending October 31st exit date.”
The Brexit doomsayers must be pulling out there hair. Let's hope President Trump lives up to his promise.