Britain’s hopes for a quick trade deal with the US were dashed by a warning from President-elect Joe Biden that the US will not sign a trade deal with anyone until the United States regulates its competitiveness.
Britain was in the process of closing a trade deal with the administration of Donald Trump, a staunch opponent of the European Union, but Biden said in an interview with the New York Times that his priority would be to improve investments in American manufacturing and the protection of Americans. workers.
“I will not make any new trade deals with anyone until we make significant investments here at home, in our workers and in education,” he said.
Some Brexit supporters had touted a U.S. trade deal as one of the early benefits of leaving the EU and its customs union, although the economic value of such a deal has been called into question.
Biden told the New York Times, “I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first. He identified energy, biotechnology, advanced materials and artificial intelligence as areas conducive to large-scale government investments in research.
The remarks underscore how far leading Democrats have retreated from the mass adoption of globalization, and insist that US foreign policy must put America’s national interests higher.
The UK Foreign Office and Commerce Departments still have a number of upcoming trade deals and may seek a trade deal with Asia-Pacific countries to fill the void that may be created by Biden’s priorities . The UK cannot formally engage with the new administration before its inauguration in January, but it has made contact with senior Democratic senators.
Biden also suggested that the best way to leverage trade with China was to create alliances to compete with it. Biden said his “goal would be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices – that is, intellectual property theft, product dumping, illegal corporate subsidies.” and forcing “technology transfers” from US companies to their Chinese counterparts.
He said leverage could be built by building a national consensus for domestic investment, including in US semiconductors.
He said he would not be lifting any tariffs on China at this point, but would instead conduct a review. “The best strategy for China, I think, is one that puts each of our – or at least what were our – allies on the same page. It will be a major priority for me in the first weeks of my presidency to try to get back on the same page with our allies.
The EU has already sent a note to Biden’s team to seek a common strategy on China.
Biden also, for the first time since his election, made it clear that he was determined to try to bring the United States and Iran back into line with the existing nuclear deal signed in 2015 before trying to negotiate a stake. update or extension of the agreement. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018, imposing heavy economic sanctions. Iran has responded by easing its commitments under the enriched uranium stockpile deal, but has allowed UN inspections to continue at its nuclear sites.
Some have argued that Biden should not lift crippling US sanctions until Iran commits to a broader deal that includes its missile program, regional behavior, and updates some of the country’s commitments. existing agreement.
Biden said, “Look, there’s a lot of talk about precision missiles and a whole range of other things that are destabilizing the region.” He added that the best way to achieve stability in the region was to deal with “the nuclear program”.
If Iran has a nuclear bomb, he added, it puts enormous pressure on the Saudis, Turkey, Egypt and others to obtain nuclear weapons themselves. “And the last thing we need in this part of the world is nuclear capacity building,” he said.
Then, Biden added, “in consultation with our allies and partners, we will enter into negotiations and follow-up agreements to tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints, as well as to address the missile program.” He added that he wanted more than the existing signatories to the current deal – France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China – to be signatories to any new deal, but other players. regions, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, agree.
He said the United States, once back in the deal, could call for a resumption of UN sanctions if it felt Iran was still not on its terms, which he knew. Iran knew.