Ryan (R-Wis.) is advocating being aggressive early in establishing deals with Britain.
“Obviously it takes time to do something like this, but I think it is something we should be working on,” Ryan told ABC affiliate WISN in Wisconsin last week, according to comments his office published on the speaker’s website Monday. “We should begin discussions with Great Britain to ease concerns so that we do have a smooth trade relationship with Great Britain because they are our indispensable ally.”
Ryan later added on Wisconsin radio station WBEL that negotiations with Britain should be done on “a parallel track” to ongoing talks with the European Union toward a trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.
Ryan, a frequent champion of free trade as a tool to improve foreign relations, isn’t the only lawmaker urging the administration to launch talks with London to ensure the U.S.-U.K. relationship won’t be harmed by British-European divorce proceedings.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a statement Friday soon after the Brexit results were announced that talks should begin now.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced Friday that he would introduce legislation that would require the United States and U.K. to “honor our current arrangements” until new bilateral deals are drafted. It also would direct the U.S. Trade Representative to begin negotiations “as soon as possible.”
There are many reasons that the U.S. should get a trade deal done ASAP. Britain’s relationship with the U.S. deserves respect. We are allies and friends who have supported each other vigorously for over a century. We should be holding our hands out in partnership. But it is also in the U.S.’s best interests. It is almost certain that the EU will seek to punish Britain and throttle Britain’s access to EU markets. Britain still needs a place to sell their goods. There’s no reason that the U.S. can’t benefit from their need in the form of advantageous prices on the things they export (vehicles, mechanical appliances, mineral fuels, pharmaceutical products, electrical equipment, etc.) and a place to sell American goods to replace E.U. goods. Also, by locking in an agreement with Britain right away, it bolsters the U.S.’s bargaining position in the negotiations with the E.U.
Hopefully the Obama Administration recognizes this historic opportunity to benefit both the United States and our ancient partner, Britain.