President Biden Puts Brakes on UK Trade Pact Amid Senate Disagreements Ahead of 2024 Elections

Biden Pauses US-UK Trade Pact Ahead of 2024 Election

President Joe Biden has decided to delay negotiations for a trade agreement with Britain due to ongoing disputes within the U.S. Senate, a move likely influenced by upcoming electoral concerns.

Draft Outline Indicates Delay in Negotiations

A draft outline detailing the proposed pact’s 11 chapters had initially slated negotiations to commence by the year’s end, as outlined by the United States Trade Representative’s office earlier this year.

Challenges and Shelving of the Deal

However, challenges arose, leading to the deal being placed on hold. Sources, speaking on anonymity from both the British and U.S. governments, confirmed to POLITICO that the agreement is unlikely to proceed. One insider familiar with the proposed negotiations stated uncertainty about its revival.

Timeline and Content of the Proposal

The proposed negotiation timeline aimed for completion before the upcoming US and UK elections next year. The agreement, resembling the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), emphasized regulatory aspects over tariff-related matters.

Backdrop of Senate Discord and Biden’s Stance

Senate discord, particularly in November, played a significant role, with senior Democrats criticizing certain trade provisions pursued by the Biden administration, lacking enforceable labor standards.

UK’s Aspirations and Previous Efforts

The UK government, seeking a solid post-Brexit achievement, has long advocated for a trade deal with the U.S. The draft outline represented a pathway toward a comprehensive agreement, with the UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch initially presenting the proposal during Biden’s Belfast trip in April, aiming to reignite discussions that had commenced during the Trump era.

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