British trade minister to meet top U.S. officials next week

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of the British Cabinet meet on Downing Street in London

(Reuters) – Britain's Secretary of Commerce Liz Truss will meet with top US officials in Washington next week to assess progress in reaching a free trade agreement between the two countries, the Financial Times said on Saturday.

Two sources reported that the Truss newspaper is expected to be in Washington this weekend, while a third source told the FT that it would meet US agent Robert Lighthizer on Monday and Tuesday.

After leaving the European Union in January, the UK is keen to be alone and has started a number of trade negotiations with other countries, with the United States being a priority.

Truss previously said no schedule for UK trade talks with the United States had been set, adding that despite negotiating videoconferencing, UK negotiators had made "very good progress" due to the corona virus outbreak.

"We will not plunge into a deal and there is no time limit. We will be hard at pushing our interests forward," Truss told a parliamentary committee in June.

The Financial Times reported in late July that the British government had given up hope of a US free trade agreement before the US presidential election, with officials blaming the pandemic for slow progress.

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