Government insists US trade deal won’t lower food standards for UK

Chicken breasts for sale in the US

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The US wants the UK to import more of its farm produce

The UK will not lower food standards to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the US,” the government says.

It comes after Washington published its objectives for a US-UK trade pact.

The US wants “comprehensive market access” for its farmers’ products that would see more US-made food on British supermarket shelves.

European Union rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-boosted beef.`

If free of EU trade rules, the US want the UK to remove such so-called “sanitary and physiosanitary” standards on its farm exports.

The 18-page negotiating stance from Washington also demands that the pound not be “manipulated” to improve trade income or make UK products cheaper in the US.

US President Donald Trump has previously been outspoken about China “unfairly” using its currency to improve its trade balance – meaning that it keeps it artificially low to make its goods cheaper to sell abroad.

His team has included similar demands in their trade negotiations with China and Japan, respectively.

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Donald Trump and Theresa May want their countries to sign a free trade deal

Another demand from President Trump’s negotiators is for the NHS to not “discriminate” against US pharmaceuticals and medical devices when purchasing goods and services.

The negotiating objectives, published by the office of US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, are only an initial bid in what may be lengthy negotiations between Washington and London.

The US-UK trade relationship is currently worth £173bn annually.