Liz Truss – 2020 Statement on the UK’s Future Trading Relationship with the US

The statement made by Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for International Trade, in the House of Commons on 22 September 2020.

The fourth UK-US free trade agreement (FTA) negotiating round took place from 8 September to 18 September 2020.

There were 29 sessions held in this round, covering 16 different chapter areas. Significant progress has been achieved since launching negotiations in May 2020, and most chapter areas are now in the advanced stages of talks.

In total, 132 sessions have been held over the past four negotiating rounds, as well as an additional 30 inter- sessional discussions, involving officials from 20 different UK Government Departments and agencies.

In the fourth round, both sides continued to have detailed textual discussions, and negotiators are now in the process of consolidating texts in the majority of chapter areas.

Shortly before the fourth negotiating round both sides exchanged their first tariff offers, allowing a series of detailed market access discussions to be held during the round.​

The exchange of tariff offers is a notable milestone, and the speed at which this stage has been reached demonstrates the momentum behind these negotiations.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to continue negotiations at pace throughout the Autumn in advance of the US presidential elections.

The fifth round of talks will take place in mid to late October, with additional intersessional discussions taking place between the fourth and fifth rounds. Further such talks will be held this week on telecommunications, intellectual property, market access, and rules of origin.

Below is a summary list of those workstreams discussed in the round:

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)

Customs and trade facilitation


Technical barriers to trade (TBT)

Market access

Financial services

Good regulatory practice

Rules of origin



Cross border trade in services

Industrial subsidies

Sectoral annexes

Core text

Trade remedies

State owned enterprises