Britain’s hopes of securing an early trade deal with the US have been dashed by a warning from Joe Biden, the president-elect, that America will not sign a trade deal with anyone until the US has sorted out its competitiveness.
Britain had been closing in on a trade deal with the administration of Donald Trump, a fierce opponent of the European Union, but Biden has said in a New York Times interview that his priority will be to improve investment in US manufacturing and the protection of Amerian workers.
Biden also for the first time since his election made clear that he was committed to trying to bring the US and Iran back into compliance with the existing nuclear deal signed in 2015 before trying to negotiate an update or expansion of the deal.
Some have argued that Biden should not lift the crippling US sanctions until Iran has committed to a wider deal that includes its missile programme, regional behaviour and updates some of the commitments in the existing deal.
He added he would like more than the existing signatories to the present deal – France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China – to be signatories to any new deal, but for other regional players Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to be onboard
He said that the US, once back in the deal, could call for the snapback of UN sanctions if it deemed Iran was still not in compliance its terms, something he said Iran knew