Shower trays and pies: Boris Johnson’s plan for US trade deal

Boris Johnson has said he wants to “prize open the American market” but it will “require our American friends to compromise”.

Speaking en route to the G7 in France, the prime minister set out his three priorities for his first international summit.

Mr Johnson said his “number one” goal was global and free trade, saying he was “concerned about the direction it is going”.

Boris Johnson arrives in Biarritz, France
Image: Boris Johnson arrives in Biarritz, France, for his first international summit

The PM also wishes to discuss “biodiversity and the tragic extinction of species and loss of habitats” and “the British campaign for female education around the world”.

Regarding trade, Mr Johnson said he intended to talk one on one with US President Donald Trump next week.

“I think there is a massive opportunity for Britain but we must understand that it’s not all going to be plain sailing,” he said, adding that there were “very considerable barriers in the United States to British businesses which are not widely and readily understood”.

Giving examples, Mr Johnson said UK-made shower trays were “allegedly too low” to be sold in the US, while wallpapers, pillows and other fabrics have to be fire tested again upon arrival in the US.

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The PM also cited the continued block on exporting British beef to the US and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Boris Johnson arrives in France for G7 summit
Image: Boris Johnson arrives in France for G7 summit

He said: “[The pies] are sold in Thailand and Iceland [but] are currently unable to enter the US market because of I don’t know – some sort of food and drug administration.”

Looking to services, Mr Johnson said: “If you want to sell insurance in the UK you only need to speak to two regulators. If you want to sell insurance in the US you have to speak to 50 regulators and the same point can be made about architects and many other professions.”

Summarising, Mr Johnson said there were “massive opportunities for UK companies to open up, prize open the American market”.

“We intend to seize these opportunities but they are going to require our American friends to compromise and open up their approach because currently there are too many restrictions, and that is a point I have already made and will continue to make.”

After Mr Trump sparked fury among the British public for suggesting the NHS should form part of the UK’s compromise in trade negotiations, Mr Johnson was quick to confirm that the NHS would “remain completely off limits as far as a trade deal with the US goes”.

It comes as Mr Johnson pledges £90m of UK aid to help fund education for children in the world’s most dangerous countries.

Footage shows extent of Amazon fires

The prime minister will call on the other G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States) to dedicate more of their aid budget to education.

Brexit ensured that Mr Johnson was already causing headlines before he even landed in France for the summit, with a spat between the prime minister and European Council president breaking out over a no-deal Brexit.

Donald Tusk said he hoped the prime minister would not go down in history as “Mr No Deal”, warning Mr Johnson he would not co-operate on a no-deal Brexit.

The British leader responded: “If Donald Tusk doesn’t want to go down as ‘Mr No Deal Brexit’ then I hope that point will be borne in mind by him too.”

Mr Johnson’s decision to raise concerns about biodiversity at the summit comes as the Amazon rainforest continues to burn.

Source: SKY NEWS

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