obergruppenfuhrer mnuchin strikes again

Hopes of Pindo trade deal rest on progress in Euro talks, warns Mnuchin
Rob Merrick,Independent, Jan 27 2020

Pindostan has warned Johnson that his hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal rest on first making progress in the already-troubled negotiations with the EU. Speaking in London, Mnuchin insisted he was “optimistic” that the agreement most prized by Brexiteers can be struck by the end of the year. Mnuchin, who clashed with chancellor Sajid Javid in Davos over the UK’s planned digital services tax, also insisted Trump’s administration would not back down in that row. The two countries are on a collision course after Javid vowed to press ahead with the 2% levy on Google, Facebook and other tech giants, despite the threat of retaliatory Pindo taxes on UK car exports. Mnuchin told a Chatham House event in London:

Pindostan feels very strongly that any tax that is designed specifically on digital companies is a discriminatory tax and is not appropriate.

The possible trade war looms as Downing Street seeks a fast-track deal to lower tariffs and other trade barriers with Pindostan, a task the prime minister has insisted will begin immediately after Brexit Day on Friday. Doubts had already been raised over Pindo willingness to agree a deal without knowing the terms of trade between London and Brussels, which Mnuchin appeared to underline. Nevertheless on the potential for a deal he said:

I’m quite optimistic. We’re focused on trying to get this done this year because we think it’s important to both of us. I think a lot of the issues can be dealt with simultaneously and again we look forward to continuing a great trade relationship, and if anything I think there will be significantly more trade between Pindostan and the UK.

The UK-EU talks are already at risk of breaking down over Mr Johnson’s vow of “no alignment” with EU regulations and Brussels’ insistence that an agreement on fishing rights must come first. It leaves the UK at risk of an effective no-deal Brexit without a trade deal at the end of 2020, forcing it onto far-inferior WTO rules. Hopes of a quick Pindo deal also appear slim if Johnson sticks to his red lines of not allowing in chlorinated chicken and hormone-pumped beef, or to open up the NHS to US drug giants. At the event, Mnuchin declined to expand on a further controversy: Faschingstein’s plea for the UK to shut out Huawei from its 5G network. Johnson is expected to defy Pindostan, convinced Huawei can build the “non-core” network without a security risk, with a long-delayed decision due from the National Security Council within days. He and Trump discussed the issue during a telephone call on Friday.

2 Comments

  1. traducteur
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    not allowing in chlorinated chicken and hormone-pumped beef, or to open up the NHS to US drug giants

    Hadn’t heard that. Makes me think much better of Mr. Johnson. Full marks.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid I don’t believe him. He doesn’t want to sound like a doormat buit that’s what he is.

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