White House says Boris Johnson's NI Protocol plans 'won't impact upcoming UK-US trade talks'

Tue 14 Jun 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

US UK Trade Negotiations

US officials have reacted calmly to the UK’s publication of legislation that would allow it to override or suspend parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, promising that whatever the UK’s differences are with the EU, they will not impact any ongoing US-UK trade talks.

Reuters reports White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s statement that Joe Biden’s administration’s “priority remains protecting the gains of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and preserving peace, stability and prosperity for the people of Northern Ireland.”

Jean-Pierre added that she did not believe the UK’s disagreement with Europe would have any bearing on planned UK-US trade talks, due to take place on June 22 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Good Faith

Although US secretary of state Antony Blinken has urged Boris Jonson to keep “good faith” with Brussels, the news that the US won’t be taking sides will no doubt be a boon to Britain.

According to Politico, a more conciliatory State Department spokesperson has said that the US “recognises there have been challenges over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Politico’s UK reporter Emilio Casalicchio tweeted that the US response has been a “win for the UK,” adding that the UK’s “unilateral override bill of the protocol will NOT damage its current trade dialogues with Washington.”

Face-to-face negotiations

Despite the US signaling it will stay out of any EU-UK dispute, officials have indicated that productive dialogue should still take place.

Democratic congressman Dan Kildee has urged British foreign secretary Liz Truss to begin face-to-face negotiations with Brussels over the matter.

"It's important, and we stress this, that the UK government negotiates and that they not take unilateral action," Kildee told RTE Morning Ireland.