Building bridges to the USA

This week the UK welcomes the President of the USA. Let me risk criticism by saying I wish this to be a successful visit, stressing the things the USA and UK can do together to make the world a better place. As good hosts we should not be in the business of taking public political shots at the President or stressing the things some in the UK do not like about his stance. In private of course the government can make representations where it disagrees.

There are many areas where we can and should make common cause. Both the USA and the UK believe in NATO, and believe that to be a fair and strong alliance all its partner states should spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on their contribution to the mutual assurance. As one of the few members who does so we should help the President make the case with other members, and should show we are determined to increase our spending to be a decent ally and helpful partner.

President Trump thinks President Obama was wrong to tell the UK that we would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal. He is willing to get on with one. The UK should respond positively and progress the talks. It would be good to have an Agreement ready for ratification as soon as the UK leaves the EU.

The President is a big advocate of lower taxes. His dramatic tax reform is boosting the US economy. US companies are busily repatriating profits and spending more money on wages, investment and dividends. US families have more money to spend thanks to the income tax cuts. The UK should congratulate the President on his success with this, and should add income tax reductions to the corporation tax cuts we have carried out.

The President has published a study which finds that some Chinese companies steal or obtain western ideas on the cheap. He is trying to get improved conduct from China. There are UK companies who have experienced Intellectual Property difficulties with their own brands and products. The UK should share its knowledge of this with the USA and discuss what might be a good agreement with China to improve the position. The Chinese authorities have themselves said they oppose IP abuse.

The President is pushing both China and the EU for lower tariffs, better market access and “fairer trade”. Where the demand is for a lower tariff or for easier market access, the UK can be sympathetic. Clearly we do not support the unilateral imposition of tariffs to try to force the pace of change, and wish to avert a trade war. This week is a chance to influence the President by offering positive ways that we can help get Chinese and EU barriers to trade down.

I suggest we keep off the topic of walls. The EU has helped financed a long border defence for Turkey, and has seen a number of border fences or walls spring up in recent years, so we are not in a strong moral position to lecture the USA on this sensitive subject. The UK herself wishes to tighten controls on migrant numbers.

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51 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Oh, excuse me…. I seemed to have bumped into an elephant… what could that be..?

  2. Mick
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/985798/Brexit-news-David-Davis-resignation-Chequers-meeting-Brexit-summit-Theresa-May
    House of cards is about to come tumbling down, we need a PM with some backbone and not a converted Remainer , what we don’t want at this time is a GE that could possibly sneak Corbyn into number 10

    • Peter Lavington
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      When the conservatives find themselves 20pts behind in the polls I wonder if the penny will drop and they understand that most, if not nearly all conservatives, vote for them on their policies. Whilst it is obvious that the vast majority of the current govt wants to stop Brexit, conversely the vast majority of conservative voters want the opposite. They are also looking for less govt, lower taxes and less PC. On current form the conservatives will be wiped out if there were an election tomorrow. It’s got to the point that Corbyn couldn’t do any worse than this govt – at least he appears to be Eurosceptic.

      • Hope
        Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Ambassador now saying any trade deal is up in the air based on this latest May capitualtion. Oh dear, oh dear.

  3. Mark B
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Let me risk criticism by saying I wish this to be a successful visit . . .

    I do not think you will find much criticism from people here. Only Liberal Snowflakes moan about President Trump.

    As good hosts we should not be in the business of taking public political shots at the President . . .

    Yeah, like taking to Twitter. Oh wait, some berk has already done that! And do hope that balloon is not being paid from public funds ?

    President Trump is a breath of fresh air and shows that when the people elect a Head of State and an Executive that is independent of the legislature you get a better form of democracy than the one we have. You know the one. The one that a man can get three other men to sign a piece of paper to commit parliament and the whole nation into giving Scotland more powers and money. Or the one where people can meet at the PM’s country residence and reinterpret BREXIT and what 17.4 million people voted on.

    Welcome to the UK Mr.President. 🙂

    • Chris
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Excellent post, Mark B.

    • WalterM
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Yeah..he’s like a breath of fresh air allright..well I for one would not like to be standing downwind allright..so why don’t you volunteer to help him build that wall..just to show you can grovel as well

    • lojolondon
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Trump has better voter approval ratings than Obama did – because he stands for the common man. Only the Liberal elite with the MSM is against Trump. MAGA will be very good for Britain – post-Brexit.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      ” reinterpret BREXIT and what 17.4 million people voted on”

      And 16.141 voted against.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 11, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        Using your logic England are in World Cup Final as we ONLY lost by 1 goal

        What part of you lost by a million dont you get?

  4. Freeborn John
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    May has instituted a coup in trying to impose BRINO in direct opposition to the referendum result and has to be removed. Davis belatedly did the right thing but others in Cabinet must resign and a leadership election initiated. May is a proven incompetent, unable to make conference speeches, niave in negotiations and incapable of winning a 6-week election campaign with a 20% head start. It is inconceivable she could be re-elected party leader when on course to a landslide defeat. This week is the time for ministers and backbenchers to act to save Brexit and your skins at the next election. It is now or never.

    • jerry
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      @Freeborn John; But there has been no referendum result that gave the government any guidance or instruction as to How the UK should leave post Brexit the UK will not be in the EU, just as Norway is not. There are thus no grounds to remove an elected PM, even more so one that put their polices to the electorate just 12 months ago, certainly none that would not also increase calls for another general election and all but necessitate one.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Mate give it up or else post an example of what you think a multi option referendum voting sheet would look like and how you would measure the result

        • jerry
          Posted July 12, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          @Walter; I have, in response you your other rant.

          But thanks for proving that you are far from being a “libertarian” Walter, a true libertarian would both welcome such multi option referendum and understand how they works, it really is not complicated – you do realise that Switzerland hold just such referenda?…

    • Hope
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Hear hear. However, it is not now or never. If she remains the will be a landslide to Labour. She has been and is an utter disaster who cannot be trusted. People will not forget. If Tories wish to remain in govt it needs to change its leader to give the person a few years to change people’s minds about the reputation of the Tories.

      The traitors in the Tory party have discussed and negotiated with Labour already, in both houses that was confirmed by a Labour peer. The traitors were clear they would collapse the govt and would prefer Labour in office rather than be out of the EU.

      Look at Soubry’s recent letter it turns out she was correct, May does not want to leave, Soubry and co does not care what the label is as long as they stay in the single market and customs union. May delivered on Soubry’s letter.

    • Chris
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Agreed, FB.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Perhaps some of our Politicians should also heed some of your advice John, the Speaker of the House, and the London Mayor included.

    For decades we have generally been courteous to despots from all over the World, in the hope that some sensible influence can be bought to bear on their behaviour and policies.
    So why should we treat a democratically elected leader from one of our more friendly County’s, who backs up the defence of the Western World, any more differently.

    So far he is the only American President in a couple of decades or more who has not yet ventured abroad with military power, in order to invade another Country by request or desire to wage war and kill people.

    Our own County’s security is in the hands of America, simply because we are incapable of defending ourselves without help.
    Perhaps some ought to think of that before they wear silly hats, inflate childish blimps, and moan about a wall, trade tariffs and a host of other minor things, when all he has done is implement the manifesto pledges on which he was elected (what a breath of fresh air from a leader that is)

    Many may not like the man himself, but at least acknowledge his position with courtesy.

    • Hope
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Alan, quite correct. May’s latest proposal however links the U.K. Military to the EU, its foreign policy, security and defense to the EU unconditionally. Trump knows the EU aim of a military force and suspects it will try to rival NATO because German and French have always been against USA influence but willing to accept US risk lives to keep Russia at bay. He also suspects that the poor financial contribution towards NATO is linked. Once more he is right. The EU will gradually reduce NATO spending when the EU army up and running in full force. Dopey May wants to be with the EU. She will regret it if allowed.

      • Hope
        Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        We now discover the ECJ rulings will have to be applied to social and environment issues! We voted leave!

      • LondonBob
        Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        How about we prioritise British interests, NATO should have been disbanded when the Berlin Wall fell. We spend well above necessary on the military, and involves ourselves in affairs that of no interest to us, we should embrace splendid isolation and model ourselves on Switzerland.

        Have you seen the demographic projections in the US, this isn’t 1850?

  6. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Trump had a full state visit to France without (as far as I know) any trouble at all so why can’t we ? May too scared to organise it I suppose.

    • jerry
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      @Roy Grainger; But France doesn’t have an “Austerity” agenda, when benefits are being cut, taxes are being increased, wasting money on a full state visits would be seen by many as crass…

  7. Adam
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Britain & the US share high-quality standards & can help improve world conditions by cooperating in pursuit of better.

    President Trump favours peace & acts effectively to achieve performance of the results for which US citizens voted. We welcome & support his good intent.

  8. Stred
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    If Trump decides to pull US troops out of the EU because they refuse to pay for their fair share, we should too and offer to station US forces in the UK and, of course, on our largely aircraftless aircraft carriers. The EU does not trust us to share security and we can only trust our 5 eyes allies.

    But May has agreed to keep British troops in German and is keen on training Ukrainian soldiers to keep the EU inspired civil war going. Trump must have figured out her true intentions by now.

  9. Tabulazero
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Given the part immigration played in Leave victory, I do not think your are in a position to criticize the EU either.

  10. Christine
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Criticism? Why would you be criticised for wanting the visit of the democratically elected President of a world superpower and an erstwhile ally of the UK to be successful? You are clearly unaware of the silent but strong support for him from many people here in England. The Government’s criticisms of him, along with the disrespectful behaviour of the Mayor of London and the MSM (particularly the BBC) is deeply embarrassing. He should have been accorded a state visit, while the authorities should have made it clear that no permission would be given for demonstrations or for flying that Thing over the centre of London. The way he is being treated is downright shameful.

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    No criticism from me. He is a maverick but a breath of fresh air in comparison with the vast majority of those who run this country.

  12. Turboterrier.
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I doubt if it will happen but it is a matter of breeding and etiquette that as in the forces you salute the uniform and rank not the man.

    The same applies to the President of the United States or any other head of state.

    But as usual we have masses in this country who cannot and never will show respect to anything that matters and is important to this country. They would be the first to shout and rave if for example the POTUS pulled all his investment and for that matter his rock solid belief in this country back to America and took the jobs that go with it.

    The man is a bit of a rarity He says what he would do and he does what he said. Very unusual with many of the current world leaders.

  13. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Something has gone wrong with this country. We have lost the art of giving respect where it is due. Trump is a democratically elected President of the most powerful country on earth. He has come to the people and told them what he wants to do and he has done it. I wish our PM would be more like him. We also have borders and many countries in Europe try to keep our illegal immigrants. If we don’t have control of our borders then think what could happen. The USA would be bombarded with people from all over the world. He would be an irresponsible president not to have controls in place. The seven countries he mentioned in his speech about not allowing people into the states were decided by Obama but nobody complained then. This is all a pathetic attempt to paint Trump in a bad light and to make him look an idiot. Don’t they think a man like him is above all this pettiness?

    Whether you like the man or not we have to respect who he is and try to get along with him for the sake of western democracy and trade between our two countries. I just hope Sturgeon doesn’t get above her station – oh, sorry, for many she already has.

    Welcome Mr Trump!!

  14. Know-Dice
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Regardless of what the Luvies think of Trump he IS the President of the USA and he is somebody that we would be wise to keep on side with at this time.

  15. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Fat chance with May as PM.

  16. Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Why should you be ”risking cricism”? Right-thinking people welcome a visit from a free country’s chosen leader – especially one who is well-disposed towards the UK. We need him and his people on our side.
    If the US drew up its drawbridge, the world would soon be in a parlous state.

  17. wab
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    How much are the American oligarchs paying Redwood for this cheap propaganda?

    If Redwood believes anything that Trump says (e.g. about a trade deal) then I have a bridge to sell him. Really cheap and only one owner.

    The US tax cuts have almost all gone to the (super) rich. It was a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. So we know whose side Redwood is on. And the tax cuts have blown up the American deficit (and so debt). Extreme right wingers like Redwood allegedly care about the deficit / debt, but apparently not when other extreme right wingers want to blow it up.

    Trump has more affinity for Russia than for the ostensible allies of the US. Somehow this does not seem to bother Redwood. I guess Redwood wants to suck up to Trump so he can continue to be in the favour of the American oligarchs.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Tax cuts have not “almost all gone to the super rich”
      Middle and lower level earners have seen good increases in nett pay.
      That is why the President is popular.
      Obviously if tax is progressive then the very top earners will gain more than the lowest earners but you know that surely ?

    • libertarian
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      wab

      Oh dear get out of your bubble and take a look. Corporate America has been hiking wages, bonuses and other worker benefits since the tax cuts. On top of that 240,000 new jobs created last month alone.

      You could try reading what former GS Economist , Chairman of BBC and leading Labour Supporter Gavyn Davies had to say about the huge benefits accruing to workers and the US economy due to the tax cuts in the FT ( I can’t link,paywall)

      You really are on the wrong side of reality

    • MickN
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      What a nasty, spiteful, rude individual you come across as.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      wab
      What a nasty personal abuse of JR and a silly comment generally. Inaccurate too on US tax cuts. You should look at the details, they are freely available online. In addition even many of the corporate tax cuts have been given away by major employers as a bonus to employees of thousands of dollars each. Coupled with massive employee tax cuts, they are miraculous! No wonder US trade unions back Trump.
      Democratic Party hysteria in associating Trump with Russia. They lost the vote and like Remoaners here, cannot and will not accept democracy. Losers! Poor losers at that.
      Incidentally Mr Redwood is not an “extreme right -winger” He is just normal. The extremes radiate left of him and right of him. It is extreme and a bit wonky-headed not to accept the Referendum vote.

    • Oggy
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Absolute rubbish.

  18. Jack snell
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    In short you are prepared to overlook all of Trumps bad stuff in order to grovel for a deal..any deal..in true tory style..what you sew you reap

  19. Edwardm
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Compared to the EU, Mr Trump is straight forward. We need to be dealing with the USA and anglosphere rather than wasting time on the EU.

  20. David D
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The one thing that the UK and USA have never done is make the world a better place. The consistent violent and oppressive policies across the globe have resulted in absolute carnage and the wrecking of dozens of economies and societies. If you want to make the world a better place end NATO, remove US troops from their hundreds of foreign bases, stop interfering in every body else’s business and get rid of every Remainer in Westminster. In short work for the people instead of against them.

  21. Chris
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It is a disgrace if our country cannot give President Trump a very warm welcome and give him the huge respect he deserves. The PM should have and could have voiced her extreme displeasure at S Khan’s approval of that stunt. She should have set the tone of respect and dignity and she did not. We could also do with a P Trump here to effect Brexit. It is way past time for Theresa May to be replaced. David Davis has given the Brexiter MPs, who are determined to uphold democracy and save this country, a very big chance. They have to take it if Brexit is to be effected and democracy upheld.

  22. Rb
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    We have a golden opportunity, Obama was a fully fledged member of the New World Order, Trump is not. He does not like the EU and we could be making hay.

  23. Trumpeteer
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Trump would settle for the English Channel if it could be used to stop mass illegal migration.

  24. PaulDirac
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Why NOT talk about the wall?
    The USA’s border with Mexico is attracting huge number of illegal immigrants and is a God sent for drug smugglers.
    It is the duty of any government to try and solve / ease the problem.

    A wall is certainly not 100% effective; however if properly built and supervised by the boarder guard, it will hugely reduce the number of illegals and also make sizable drug smuggling much more difficult.

  25. ian
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    If he has any sense, he will England and go on to Scotland for a round of golf or come at all.

  26. Oggy
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    No criticism here – I welcome the democratically elected leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

    However, regarding a UK/US trade deal, I have just seen the US Ambassador to the UK say that a trade deal is now ‘up in the air’, thanks to Mrs May’s idiotic ‘common rule book’ white paper.

    Who needs enemies in the EU when we have a Government weasling it’s way to nullify the referendum result.

  27. Local Lad
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Let courtesy and respect rule.

  28. Michael Cawood
    Posted July 9, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I join you in wishing the President of the USA a successful visit. I also wish failure on Khan’s balloon.

  29. hans christian ivers
    Posted July 10, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    John,

    Interesting perspectives on a number of issues and considerations.

    However, I am not sure it is realistic for us to have a trade deal ready with the US by the time we leave the EU, it sounds rather unrealistic.

    The tax cuts in the US has increased the government debt significantly and we still do not know if the larger commercial activity will compensate through higher tax revenue, so proposing this on the UK government at this early stage seems rather premature

  30. DennisA
    Posted July 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    It would be brilliant if he could infect our politicians with some of his climate realism and dump the Climate Change Act, a damaging and highly costly exercise in futility.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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