Liz Truss says the UK has been 'too soft' on China

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Talks over a post-Brexit trade agreement between the UK and US are progressing well according to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss. Both London and Washington are reportedly eager to sign off on the deal which is one of several Ms Truss is looking to finalise as the UK looks to enter new global markets following Brexit. Ms Truss refused to give a deadline for the completion of the negotiations but told a recent interview with Politico “things are moving in the right direction.”

Ms Truss told Politico: “I am not making predictions about a timeline I think that is always a dangerous game.

“Sometimes deadlines can help focus minds but at this stage what we are working on is what the components would be and making sure we are aligned on some of the key issues namely Airbus, Boeing and the 232 disputes.

“I think those are the immediate issues we are focusing on.

“We don’t want to do a deal that isn’t right just to hit a specific deadline.”

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The International Trade Secretary added: “However I do think there is a strategic and economic interest in both countries for doing a deal.

“And I am confident that things are moving in the right direction.”

It comes as Ms Trus looks to tie up a comprehensive trade deal with India which analysts have touted could be worth up to £100billion.

The Trade Secretary told the Telegraph: “We want a deal that goes further than that, particularly in areas like digital and data, and legal services.

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“Some people say it can’t be done but the fact is Japan has a free trade agreement with India that they struck back in 2011.”

She added: “We want a deal that goes further than that, particularly in areas like digital and data, and legal services is very important for the UK.

“We’re looking for an interim agreement next year.”

Australia offers another avenue to a lucrative post-Brexit trade deal and Ms Truss recently defended moves to open the UK market to tariff-free Australian meat products. 

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She told LBC on Monday: “What the Australian deal does is it opens the doors to the wider Asian-Pacific region where prices are higher for products like beef and lamb, so this is an overall opportunity.’

Ms Truss continued: “Australia are not competitive with lamb. Currently, their lamb prices in the UK are higher than we can produce lamb at.”

“UK beef is very competitive.

“So I am fully confident that our farmers will be able to compete,” the International Trade secretary said.

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