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Trump Pledges a Quick Post-Brexit Trade Deal with the UK

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The Times of London and Germany’s Bild newspapers conducted an exclusive interview with President-elect Donald Trump. During the conversation–which covered a range of topics including potentially lifting sanctions on Russia to get them to the table on a nuclear weapons deal and more talk about the issues facing NATO–Trump said the U.S. and the UK would have a new trade agreement in place “quickly” post Brexit.

This after he opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has asserted he’ll look to change—if not dissolve—the North-American Free Trade Agreement.

Though he offered no specific timeline, what is known is the UK is not free to enter into any new deals until the country has formerly left the EU. That process is slated to take two years. In the intervening time, the UK cannot engage in any formal negotiations. This serious talks won’t start for two years.

Informally, Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May have both made public their intentions of starting to build a relationship. Trump says the first meeting will take place soon after the inauguration.

“We welcome the commitment from the president-elect to engage with the UK on this, to work together to agree a deal quickly,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman told The Guardian.

Trump called Brexit “smart,” as he sees Germany as the only real beneficiary of the alliance. He also predicted Britain’s just the first country that will exit. He said the tipping point for the EU was Europe—and Germany, in particular—welcoming in Syrian refugees.

A report in the BBC took a closer look at the possibility of a quick trade agreement between our two countries. According to its findings, free trade would be the least of our challenges if we should try to negotiate an agreement since tariffs are already low.

The bigger issues would be bank regulations, car safety standards, environmental protection as well as what it dubs “messy” categories like food safety and health care.

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