The Donald Trump led administration on Tuesday announced that it intends to sign three separate trade agreements with Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. The announcement reiterates President Trump’s efforts to rebuild the US trade policies with other countries keeping “America First” agenda in mind. He has always given preference to bilateral deals over multilateral ones as part of his more protectionist trade policy.
The Trump administration has already sent three letters to the US Congress notifying its intent to negotiate separate trade agreements with the three countries. Notably, the negotiations might take several months to begin.
“We will continue to expand U.S. trade and investment by negotiating trade agreements with Japan, the EU, and the United Kingdom,” said US trade representative Robert Lighthizer. “We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”
In the letter addressed to the US Congress, Lighthizer said the Trump administration would begin formal trade walks with Britain as soon as it exits the European Union in 2019. He added that trade agreement talks with Japan, which is the world’s third-largest economy, will begin as soon as practicable, but no earlier than 90 days from the date of the notice.
Lighthizer said the aim behind signing different trade agreements separate is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve a free, fair and reciprocal trade.
The announcement comes at the time when the US is already fighting a trade war with China, the world’s second-largest economy.
According to Trump, the US has always been taken advantage of by its trading partners. The new trade agreements, however, will likely bring other nations to the negotiating table. The US government has already finalized a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico last month.