President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the U.S. was committed to what he called a “phenomenal” trade deal with the United Kingdom, as he met outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and dismissed protests against him as “fake news.”
U.K. TRADE PACT
Speaking alongside May at a joint news conference, Trump said there’s “tremendous potential” for a U.S.-U.K. trade pact, claiming the two nations could do two or three times the amount of trade they’re now conducting.
The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with the U.K. was $19.9 billion in 2018, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, and the U.K. is currently the U.S.’s seventh-largest goods trading partner. As Britain struggles to pull itself out of the European Union, however, any bilateral trade agreement faces challenges. As The Wall Street Journal writes, if the U.K. decides to maintain close economic ties with the EU after it leaves the bloc, that would restrict it from striking free-trade deals with other countries, including the U.S.
Trump also called reports of protests against him “fake news” even as he was greeted by thousands of protesters in London. He also said he thought either former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson or current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt would “do a very good job” as prime minister, reiterated criticisms of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and said he saw “no limitations” on intelligence sharing with the U.K., as the U.S. presses the country to ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei.
Trump earlier this month issued an order aimed at banning equipment from Huawei from U.S. networks because of spying concerns. The company denies involvement in Chinese spying.
Trump also said he’s still planning to slap tariffs on Mexican imports beginning next week, even as he held out some hope that a deal can be struck over migrants to the U.S.
“We’ll probably be talking during the time that tariffs are on, and they’re going to be paid,” Trump said.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard are scheduled to meet. Last week, Trump announced tariffs in retaliation for what he says is Mexico’s failure to curb the flow of Central American families heading to the U.S.
Trump has threatened to slap a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports beginning June 10. If the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner doesn’t then take action to satisfy Trump, the president said tariffs would climb over time to 25% on Oct. 1.
were rattled after Trump’s Mexico announcement last week, but indexes were trading higher on Tuesday following remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that investors took as signs that the central bank might cut interest rates.