US message to Britain in bilateral trade talks: it’s us – or China
The US government has been privately pressing the UK in bilateral trade talks to make a choice between the US and China.
The US is seeking to insert a clause that would allow it to retreat from parts of the deal if Britain reaches a trade agreement with another country that the US did not approve.
The proposed clause made no mention specifically of China, but is seen by British diplomats in Washington as intended to be a lever to deter closer UK-China relations.
It had been seen by the UK as equivalent to the public pressure the US had been placing on Britain not to reach an agreement with Huawei to provide the UK’s 5G telecoms network.
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