WASHINGTON: Newly-installed US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday spoke with her British counterpart Rishi Sunak, and reiterated the close ties between the countries.

Yellen “highlighted their shared priorities, including cooperating to end the pandemic and support a strong global recovery, fighting inequality and forcefully addressing the threat of climate change,” the US Treasury said in a readout of the call.

“The Secretary noted the importance of the longstanding US-UK relationship.”

Yellen was sworn in on Tuesday to serve under President Joe Biden, who took office last week.

She also noted “the need to find multilateral solutions to many of the issues facing the global economy,” including the longstanding issue of companies moving overseas to avoid taxes.

But she made no reference to simmering trade tensions between the two countries.

London, which is hoping for a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington, said it reserved the right to impose duties on US goods in the years-long Boeing-Airbus spat, even after breaking from the European Union.

But Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, warned Britain that its exit from the EU means it cannot impose tariffs as part of the dispute.

Trump in 2020 imposed 25 percent tariffs on wine, cheese, olives and other European delicacies in a battle over subsidies to planemaker Airbus. The EU responded with its own round of tariffs on imports of some farm produce, including wheat and tobacco plus strong alcohol and chocolate, after the World Trade Organization faulted Washington over state aid for Boeing.

Both sides have said they would prefer a negotiated settlement but have followed through on implementing the tariffs, despite hopes for better ties under Biden.


Comments are closed.