PoliticsForeign Policy


Prime Minister Boris Johnson Pushes For Trade Deal In First Biden Call

A trade deal between the U.K. and U.S. is higher on Boris Johnson's to-do list than President Biden's.
Posted at 1:35 PM, Jan 24, 2021

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for a new trade agreement with the U.S. in his first call with President Biden – a deal that has a number of potential snags.

In the call, Johnson praised the new president for rejoining the World Heath Organization and the Paris climate agreement. But the prime minister wants to resolve any existing trade issues as soon as possible, which is a deal higher on Johnson's to-do list than President Biden's.

Earlier last week, President Biden's Treasury secretary nominee said the president wouldn't sign any new deals "before the U.S. makes major investments in American workers and our infrastructure." And White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the new administration had no timeline for a trade agreement.

Johnson has been hoping for an early trade accord amid its post-Brexit transition period.

President Biden previously said any post-Brexit trade deal was contingent on respect for the Good Friday agreement. That accord helped end a period of conflict between two groups in Northern Ireland when it separated from the Republic of Ireland. He has family roots in Ireland and has said he does not want border issues between the two areas following Brexit.

Although a Downing Street's statement said the two leaders discussed benefits of a potential free trade deal during the call, the White House's statement made no mention of it.