The UK and US hope trade talks can proceed at an “accelerated pace” to deliver a “comprehensive” deal, Liz Truss said after the first round of transatlantic negotiations.
The International Trade Secretary said both sides wanted a deal to deliver benefits for workers, consumers and farmers.
Critics have warned that striking a deal will require Britain to accept looser US food and environmental standards, as well as opening up the NHS to American firms – something the Government denies.
Ms Truss said that during the talks, conducted remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, “a number of areas showed particular progress”.
Negotiators “identified a mutually high ambition for services, investment and digital trade”, she said.
Today we are publishing the outcomes of the First Round of negotiations for the UK US FTA 🇬🇧🇺🇲 which were positive and constructive.— Liz Truss (@trussliz) May 18, 2020
“Both sides also set out a mutual commitment to creating new opportunities for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic and to delivering benefits for workers, consumers and farmers.”
The negotiators will “quickly pursue” a standalone chapter covering small and medium-sized firms.
The talks involved around 100 officials on each side covering almost 30 different areas.
Ms Truss and her counterpart, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, have agreed a second round of virtual talks will take place in the weeks of June 15 and 22.
“Both sides are hopeful that negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement can proceed at an accelerated pace,” Ms Truss said.