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As the 2024 presidential elections draw near, President Joe Biden has put aside plans for a trade deal with the UK. The envisioned “foundational” trade agreement, slated to precede next year’s national polls, faced hurdles due to Senate opposition and disagreements regarding its scope.

Initially, negotiations were slated to commence based on a draft containing 11 proposed chapters, crafted by the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office earlier this year.

The goal was to conclude talks by spring, aligning with the electoral timelines of both nations. However, insiders from the British and US governments now suggest that the deal is unlikely to move forward.

“I don’t think we’re going to see that re-emerge,” remarked an individual familiar with the matter to Politico. According to the Commons Library, negotiations for a US-UK trade deal began in May 2020, but discussions ceased in October 2020.

While the prospect of a trade agreement between the UK and the US has been a longstanding goal for successive Conservative Prime Ministers since the UK’s 2016 vote to exit the EU, concerns and differences in approach have hindered progress.

The proposed negotiations were designed to cover various areas, including agriculture, labor rights, the environment, supply chains, regulation of services, and digital trade documents, among others.

However, the proposal did not address market access, and it fell short of meeting the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) definition of a free trade agreement. US politicians, including Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, expressed reservations, emphasizing that trade negotiations should prioritize substantive benefits for Americans.

A Department for Business and Trade spokesperson acknowledged ongoing discussions between the UK and the US on the next steps under their existing agreement, emphasizing the expansion of collaborative efforts across economic, technological, commercial, and trade relations through the Atlantic Declaration. Despite differing perspectives, the fate of the trade deal remains uncertain as both countries navigate political and trade complexities.

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