PM in America
Truss outlines low tax plan to US executives
Joe Biden and Liz Truss will meet in New York
Liz Truss told a group of US business leaders today that she will deliver “lower, simpler taxes” to drive investment.
The Prime Minister told the group of 15 Wall street executives that her plans will “make us a better place to invest and be unashamedly pro-business” and make the City “the most competitive place for financial services in the world”.
Those in attendance included Bain Capital managing director John Connaughton, BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink, JPMorgan Chase chief risk officer Ashley Bacon and General Electric chief executive officer Larry Culp Jr.
“Our long-term plan is to simplify Britain’s taxes and to make us a better place to invest and be unashamedly pro-business,” said Ms Truss. “And that’s every kind of business – whether it’s life sciences, whether it’s technology, whether it’s financial services.”
She added: “We want the City to be the most competitive place for financial services in the world, and we see that as a key part of the levelling up agenda, because when we unblock capital, that capital will be used across the UK to make every industry become more productive and competitive.”
Her comments came ahead of talks in New York with US President Joe Biden and after admitting little progress has been made on establishing a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
As she left the UK for the United Nations general assembly, Ms Truss told reporters that there are no current negotiations with the US about a free trade agreement and that one is not expected “for many years”. Nor would talks with the US begin in the “medium term”.
During Ms Truss’s time as International Trade Secretary, the Department for International Trade began talks with the US in May 2020, but little progress was made.
Ahead of those talks, Ms Truss had said that a free trade deal with the US would secure a “£15.3 billion increase in bilateral trade and a £3.4bn lift to the economy”.
However, Mr Biden’s focus is more likely to press her on the stalemate around the Northern Ireland protocol and the need to resolve problems that have arisen following Brexit.
The US president is said to be concerned about the UK government’s protocol bill which would override parts of the post-Brexit trading arrangements.
Jake Sullivan, Mr Biden’s national security adviser, told the media: “The president will communicate his strong view that the Good Friday agreement, which is the touchstone of peace and stability in Northern Ireland, must be protected.
“He will encourage the UK and the European Union to work out an effective outcome that ensures there is no threat to the fundamental principles of the Good Friday agreement. And he’ll speak in some detail with her about that in the conversation.”
During the assembly, Ms Truss will meet Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission amid some optimism that progress can be made on the NI situation and that talks could begin quite soon.
With US trade talks on hold, the Prime Minister is keen to advance plans for accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
This grouping, which includes Australia, Canada and Japan, is one of the world’s largest trading blocs. Originally it was expected to include the US, but Donald Trump pulled out in 2018 before it was signed.
The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and is the European Union’s sixth largest export market.