The Yorkshire Post says: Trade troubles. President plays trump tariff card

THE political vacuum in Spain and Italy, and the wider consequences for the European Union, plays into the hands of those Brexit supporters who believe Britain will be better off when it can negotiate its own trade deals.

Dr Liam Fox is the International Trade Secretary.

Time will tell. However Leave supporters probably did not foresee the 2016 EU referendum being followed by America electing a protectionist president in Donald Trump who is committed to making the USA ‘great again’.

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As demonstrated by the imposition of US tariffs on steel imports, President Trump is only interested in one constituency – his own – and it remains to be seen whether his new best friend, France’s Emannuel Macron, can wield any influence.

It makes the role of Dr Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, all the more perplexing. A Brexiteer, and an Atlanticist at heart, he was supposedly appointed by Theresa May because of his understanding of American politics.

What has he been doing? Not only is the prolongation of the Brexit transition period making it harder for Britain to strike the trade deals that were promised before the referendum, but there are no guarantees that the United States, supposedly this country’s closest ally, will do business with the Government because President Trump’s stance fluctuates so frequently. Given Brexit is now less than 10 months away, Dr Fox now needs to set out the country’s trade policy so businesses can plan ahead.