Trump lures London with trade deal

US President Donald Trump has held out the prospect of a bilateral trade agreement during his state visit to Britain. As an EU member London cannot sign trade agreements independently, but Trump wrote on Twitter that once the UK rids itself of its shackles a major deal would be possible. Is his offer convincing or should it be taken with a pinch of salt?

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The Spectator (GB) /

British should accept Trump's offer with thanks

The US president is offering the government in London far more than his predecessor Barack Obama ever did, The Spectator writes in delight:

“Trump is the leader of our largest and most powerful ally. His administration is eager to offer Britain a free trade deal. Trump once said that Brexit Britain should be 'at the front of the queue', while Barack Obama threatened to leave Britain 'at the back of the queue'. Can anyone doubt that Trump's proposal is better for Britain? Given that the US is Britain's biggest export market (by some margin) this is an offer that should be seized with both hands. Under Theresa May, it wasn't.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Another candidate for Trump's list of victims

Some unpleasant surprises may be in store for Britain in any future negotiations on trade relations with the US, La Vanguardia counters:

“The list of victims of Trump's policies is a long one - from Mexico and the EU to China. And it's by no means clear that Britain wouldn't become one of them. If the country does end up opting for a hard Brexit it could build up its relations with the US as its traditional ally, as Brexiteers point out. But Britain's negotiating position - already weakened by the EU - will not be optimal. The US, on the other hand, will be in a better position, which could force the British to make more concessions than they'd like.”

Adevărul (RO) /

Agreement mainly benefits US

Cristian Unteanu explains why the US would definitely benefit from a trade agreement with the UK in his blog with Adevărul:

“The US could use certain terms of the agreement to place its agricultural goods on the British market on a massive scale. This sector is particularly vulnerable. Many of the world's large markets have increased their tariffs in the course of the trade dispute, so US products can no longer compete. Moreover, there is an unusually large quantity of US goods that have no access to foreign markets because they're based on GM technology or are produced using growth hormones and pesticides that are banned in the EU.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Ireland would be the big loser

A free trade agreement between the US and Britain would be a bitter blow for EU member Ireland, The Irish Times fears:

“American negotiators have made it quite clear such a deal would be on their terms concerning agricultural goods and on labour and environmental standards. In that case the Irish border would become the fulcrum of a sharpening conflict between the US, the EU and the UK. Ireland's open economy has depended so much on trade with each of these large partners that it would be especially challenged by such a confrontation.”