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US offers UK quick sector-by-sector post-Brexit trade deals

Robert Hutton, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

LONDON -- National security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. was ready to offer Britain sector-by-sector trade deals to help the country after a no-deal departure from the European Union.

On a visit Monday to London, Bolton met the U.K.'s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, with a message of support from President Donald Trump.

"The main purpose of this visit, really, is to convey President Trump's desire to see a successful exit from the EU for the U.K. on Oct. 31," Bolton told reporters afterward. "To offer to be involved in any way that we can and to express his hope that we can have a fully comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with the U.K. as soon as possible."

Bolton said such a deal could be done "in a lot of different ways." He said that to speed negotiations up, the two countries could agree to "bits and pieces at first," with a "comprehensive agreement to follow." His message, he said, was "We're with you."

In other comments, Bolton said:

-- Any U.S.-U.K. trade deal would receive "overwhelming bipartisan support" in both houses of Congress.

 

-- The U.S. doesn't want to put the U.K. "under pressure" on whether to allow Huawei Technologies Co. to play a role in 5G networks.

-- The British government is looking at the Huawei question "from square one."

-- The U.S. welcomes the U.K.'s involvement in its mission to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf.

Brexit talks are currently at an impasse. Johnson has rejected the Withdrawal Agreement that his predecessor, Theresa May, negotiated, and the EU has said that it won't reopen it. If nothing changes, Britain will leave the EU without a deal Oct. 31, something economists and government officials warn could causes severe economic damage.

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