USTR will accept public comments through Jan. 15, and the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee will hold a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 29 at the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., to collect input for negotiations.
“The [Trump] administration’s aim in negotiations with the U.K. is to address both tariff and nontariff barriers and to achieve free, fair and reciprocal trade,” USTR said.
Per procedures required by Trade Promotion Authority legislation, USTR on Oct. 16 formally notified Congress of the Trump administration’s intent to enter trade agreement negotiations with the U.K.
Specifically, USTR is asking for comments on general and product-specific negotiating objectives for the proposed agreement, barriers to trade in goods and services, economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and nontariff barriers on goods traded with the U.K., treatment of specific goods — described by Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers — under the proposed agreement, including industry’s experience with “particular measures” that should be addressed in talks and ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities in the agreement’s context.
The agency also is seeking comments on customs and trade facilitation issues, sanitary/phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade, as well as “other measures or practices” that undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers that should be addressed in the negotiations, USTR said.
USTR also notified Congress on Oct. 16 of the administration's intentions to start separate bilateral trade agreement negotiations with the European Union and Japan.
“We welcome the steps that the U.S. Trade Representative is taking so we can begin negotiations for a new Free Trade Agreement once we leave the EU,” U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox tweeted Friday. “We’re analysing our public consultation responses and we’ll set out our approach before negotiations begin.”