U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on ITV News that he would “love to” make a quick trade agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump. Both countries are looking at possibly expanding trade relations by summer of 2020, despite how fast of a deadline it would be.
"There's an opportunity to do a great free trade deal with the United States," Johnson said. "The president is very gung-ho about that and so am I."
President Trump met with the prime minister last weekend at the Group of Seven (G7) meetings in France and said that negotiating a new trade deal will ensure that the UK is no longer economically or politically dependent on the European Union (EU).
“We are having very good trade talks between the U.K. and ourselves. We’re going to do a very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had with the UK,” he said. “At some point, they won’t have the obstacle of, they won’t have the anchor around their ankle, because that’s what they had. So, we’re going to have some very good trade talks and big numbers.”
While hopeful for productive negotiations, Johnson criticized on ITV News the U.S.’s “protectionist” attitude in trade. One of the issues he pointed to were restrictions put on U.K. food produce entering the country.
"I don't think people realize quite how protectionist sometimes the U.S. market can be," Johnson said, "but what I'm saying to Donald ... is, you know, this is a big opportunity for both of us but... we need to see movement from the U.S. side.
The U.K. will be able to begin comprehensive negotiations after they officially leave the EU, which is currently scheduled for Oct. 31.