Sunak downplays chances of getting Biden to open post-Brexit trade deal talks

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Ishi Sunak has dashed any hopes that he can get Joe Biden to restart talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US.

The prime minister insisted trans-Atlantic trade was “growing massively anyway” as he praised agreements with individual states ahead of his meeting with the US president in San Diego on Monday.

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A free trade deal with the world’s biggest economy was touted as one of the prizes for leaving the European Union but talks have stalled.

Mr Sunak insisted his new Windsor deal with the EU was a “great step forward” for Northern Ireland, hoping it could ease tensions with Democrats in the US and pave the way for trade talks.

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But the prime minister did not focus on a free trade deal with the US, telling GB News: “The US has always been, and always has been for a long time, our closest economic relationship, it is our biggest trading partner. Is.”

Asked whether a trade deal is out of the talks, Sunak said: “People should really know that economically we have a very strong relationship with the US, our exports are growing massively anyway and we agreements with the states.

Earlier, the prime minister said the UK and US would work through concerns about Mr Biden’s multi-billion dollar package of green subsidies.

He welcomed the White House’s commitment to tackling climate change, but said Britain had already raised concerns about measures in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The US$430bn (£357bn) package is an attempt to greenlight the economy with tax credits for green technology.

But it has strained relations with European economies, including the UK, which have been cut out of US markets, with Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch calling it “protectionist”.

Mr Sunak told reporters: “We have raised concerns with the US about the IRA and we will work with them as they think about how to implement it.

“Those are talks that the government has been having with them for some time and will continue.”

Mr Sunak will use the talks with Mr Biden to formally invite him to visit Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The visit by the president, who often highlights his Irish roots and keen interest in issues related to the accord, is expected to take place around the anniversary in April.

It had been hoped that the Windsor Framework, which aims to resolve Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit difficulties, could ensure the visit goes ahead.

In Stormont, the DUP is blocking the operation of entities created by the Good Friday Agreement in opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol, the post-Brexit arrangement designed to replace the Windsor Framework.

The party is currently considering accepting the new structure and returning to Stormont, but it is not believed the impasse will prevent a presidential visit by Mr Biden.

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