US and Britain could sign sector-by-sector trade deals, says Bolton

Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has said Britain and the US could sign sector-by-sector free trade deals prior to a comprehensive agreement as a way of helping the UK cope with the consequences of leaving the EU on 31 October without a deal.

Bolton said the microdeals, focusing on industries such as cars, could be negotiated quickly, and would receive overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. He was speaking after meeting Boris Johnson and senior British officials in London on Monday.

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The ultimate end result is a comprehensive trade agreement covering all trading goods and services, But to get to that you could do it sector by sector, and you can do it in a modular fashion. In other words, you can carve out some areas where it might be possible to reach a bilateral agreement very quickly, very straightforwardly.

Bolton said.

In other areas, such as financial services, he said deals might be more difficult to reach.

It is the first time the US has suggested smaller deals could be reached before a comprehensive agreement, and underlines its stance towards the UK as it faces the potential consequences of trade barriers being raised with the EU, the UK’s largest export market. Previously, the US has resisted sectoral deals with the EU.

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