Britain is the U.S.A’s closest partner; however, their long friendship may be sorely tested since the two nations attempt to forge a new trade deal after Brexit.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday in London that he was certain that a bilateral deal with Britain could be reached as soon as this year.
However, Mnuchin gave up no floor after a second assembly with his UK equivalent, Sajid Javid. Javid has insisted that Britain will proceed with a unilateral digital services tax, regardless of a U.S. threat to slap retaliatory tariffs on British-made automotives.
Mnuchin told reporters after Saturday’s meeting that such taxes would discriminate in opposition to big U.S. tech corporations like Alphabet’s Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.com.
The divide highlights the challenges ahead as the U.S government seeks a new bilateral deal with Britain, part of a broader push to rebalance connections with nearly all its main trading companions.
The stakes are high – British PM Boris Johnson has pegged the trade deal with the U.S. as a way to ease the pain of departing Europe, Britain’s largest trade companion.
The goodwill and special connection the two nations have enjoyed for many years might not count for much.
Even before the digital tax issue arose, the U.S. administration warned of taxing foreign car imports, which might strike British-made Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, and Honda Civic hatchback automobiles.