- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 25, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

When Britains were debating the Brexit vote in 2016, President Barack Obama made an astounding attempt to sway voters as they contemplated the referendum to leave the European Union

Obama, on a visit with then-Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama warned the Brits that the United States would give their nation short-shrift on trade deals if they dared to seek independence from the multi-national, European body: 

“And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done”.

He added: “The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”

Despite the president’s brazen display of meddling in a foreign election (or, perhaps because of it) the people of the United Kingdom approved the Brexit referendum and have set the course to remove themselves from the EU



So, what of Obama’s dire warning? Enter President Donald Trump. 

As Air Force One touched down in Davos, Switzerland Thursday morning, the Trump Administration announced that despite his predecessor’s toothless admonishment, the United Kingdom has, in fact, jumped to the front of the queue for a historic trade deal: 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. is ready to negotiate an “attractive” trade deal with Britain once the country has left the European Union.

At the World Economic Forum, Mnuchin said the U.S. is first looking to see a “successful transition that’s good for the U.K., good for the markets.”

Based on the provisions of the EU, Britain can’t even begin negotiations with the United States until the Brexit is fully negotiated and initiated but, Mnuchin said, as soon as the UK is able, President Trump is ready and eager to make a deal. 

And, in an obvious tweak to his predecessor, Trump said, according to Mnuchin, Britain will be at the “front of the line” in trade negotiations.

Great again.

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