Boris Johnson urges Donald Trump to cut tariffs on pork pies and cauliflower as part of UK-US trade deal
Boris Johnson has urged Donald Trump to lower restrictions on British products like pork pies, cauliflower and English wine in a bid to hammer out a new UK-US trade deal.
Ahead of talks between the pair at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the Prime Minister said “very considerable barriers” needed to be removed if the two countries are to strike a post-Brexit agreement.
The intervention came ahead of a breakfast meeting on Sunday where President Trump insisted a "very big trade deal" can be done quickly.
Speaking to the media, he added that Mr Johnson needed “no advice” on handling Brexit and that he was “the right man for the job” – prompting the PM to joke that his counterpart was “on message”.
Mr Johnson had spoken with the President on the phone on Friday ahead of the crunch meeting, where the subject of bilateral trade is expected to be on the agenda.
Following the initial discussion, the PM told reporters: “We must understand it is not all going to be plain sailing. There remain very considerable barriers in the US to British businesses which are not widely understood.”
“I had my first opportunity to mention some of these to the President. And I will mention them again because it is very important if we are going to do a fantastic free-trade deal that is a free trade that works in the interests of British business.”
Mr Johnson remarked that “not a morsel of British beef has entered the US market” despite a US pledge to lift restrictions in 2014.
He added: “Melton Mowbray pork pies, which are sold in Thailand and in Iceland, are currently unable to enter the US market.
“Cauliflowers can only enter specified ports, not including Miami, which is where UK exporters want them. UK bell peppers cannot get into the US market at all.
“If you want to export wine made in England to the US, you have to go through a US distributor.”
Elsewhere the PM took aim at the “bureaucratic obstacle” that stopped some UK-made shower trays from being sold in the US because they were “too low”.
He also criticised rules around importing wallpaper, pillows and other fabrics, which needed to be fire-tested again on arrival in the US.
And he blasted red-tape around selling insurance, adding that “if you want to sell insurance in the UK, you only need to speak to two regulators; if you want to sell insurance in the US, you have to speak to 50”.
“There are massive opportunities for UK companies to open up, to prise open the American market,” he added.
“We intend to seize those opportunities, but they are going to require our American friends to compromise and to open up their approach because currently there are too many restrictions.”