Factbox: How free would a UK-U.S. trade agreement be? – Reuters


Brexit supporters have said rapidly agreed trade accords with the United States and other countries will make a prosperous “Global Britain” outside the European Union.

Both Britain and the United States would need to determine the scope of negotiations, but past experience of Washington’s dealings with other would-be trade partners shows what it is likely to seek and the limits on what it would offer.

BRITAIN’S NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (NHS)

The U.S. ambassador’s comment that Britain’s NHS should be “on the table” in a trade deal caused an uproar in Britain.

There are two areas of U.S. interest. First, it would want its companies be allowed to bid for NHS contracts, although tenders are generally open already.

The second area concerns the reference prices the NHS sets for its purchases of drugs.

The United States, which sought to challenge a similar scheme in Australia during trade negotiations, argues that lower set prices are unfair on its pharmaceutical companies and leave U.S. consumers footing the bill.

Britain could exempt its health service from trade talks, as France did for audiovisual services in the EU-U.S. TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations, although this could limit what Washington would want to offer.

Spending on the NHS totalled 144.3 billion pounds ($183.0 billion) in 2016/17, according to an April 2018 parliamentary briefing paper. OECD data shows that per capita expenditure on health in the UK was $4,246 in 2017 compared to an OECD average of $3,992 and $10,209 in the United States.

FARM PRODUCTS

Washington is a net exporter of farm products, notably of meat and animal feed, but normally also wants its counterpart to accept its farming standards.

 

Source: Factbox: How free would a UK-U.S. trade agreement be? – Reuters

BREXIT LATEST: Victory for May – EU CAVES with major concession in huge blow for France | Politics | News | Express.co.uk


UK and EU negotiators are understood to have reached a tentative agreement on their future relationship surrounding services, as well as the exchange of data, with just five months to go before Britain leaves.

With five months to secure a Brexit deal before Britain is due to leave the EU, business leaders are demanding certainty over the kind of trade terms the divorce will deliver.

The services deal would give UK companies access to European markets as long as British financial regulation remained broadly aligned with the EU’s, The Times reported.

Following the news, the British pound was up nearly 1 percent versus the dollar overnight at 1.28 US dollars.

 

Source: BREXIT LATEST: Victory for May – EU CAVES with major concession in huge blow for France | Politics | News | Express.co.uk