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US working on ‘major trade deal’ with UK: Trump

US President Donald Trump has praised the ongoing work on a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain while slamming the European Union’s trade relationship with the United States.

“Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The EU is very protectionist with the US STOP!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Trump assured quick action on a trade deal between the United States and Britain despite skepticism raised by British officials.

He met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg early in July.

The US president said he and May “have developed a very special relationship,” adding that he believed “trade will be a very big factor between” the two countries. May said she was optimistic about possible future trade pacts with Washington and other countries.

US President Donald Trump (R) and British Prime Minister Theresa May hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

However, in a pointed rebuke of critics, the prime minister has played up the prospects of increasing trade with “old friends and new partners” like China, India and Japan after the UK leaves the European Union.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Trump did not offer any specific actions that he wanted the EU to halt, yet tensions have been raised over a series of trade issues over steel and other products.

The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is currently in Washington discussing the potential for a UK-US trade deal after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in March 2019.

Trump has repeatedly accused the EU, Japan, China and South Korea of abusing trade agreements and exporting more to the US than they import from it.

The Republican president has also called for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trade deal between the US, Canada and Mexico.

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