In the wake of the United Kingdom vote to exit the European Union last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan called for the United States to negotiate a free trade agreement with the country once the separation is completed.
The Wisconsin Republican said it’s critical to demonstrate the strong ties between the two countries will remain despite the upcoming changes, according to a statement released by his press office Monday.
While speaking with local Wisconsin media outlets following the referendum, Ryan said it would likely be easier to pursue an agreement with the U.K. than it would be other countries since it is one of the United States’ strongest allies. He claimed by striking a deal, it would ease a number of concerns on how the move will affect the trade alliance between nations.
“We’re in talks with Europe on something we call TTIP, but I think we should do a parallel track of Great Britain — United Kingdom, excuse me — United Kingdom trade agreement while we talk with Europe about TTIP,” he told WBEL’s Mike Daly. “It’s very important that we maintain our very strong alliance with England. Trade with England is very big between our two countries and very beneficial for our two countries, not like some of the other countries we’ve had problems with … you would not put England in that kind of category … I think we should make sure that our trading relationship is stable, so that our respective economies are not affected but actually improved.”
“Brexit” has stirred mixed reactions amongst politicians in Washington, with a number of Republicans applauding the decision while Democrats, including President Barack Obama, expressed their disappointment in the decision, saying the country will be at “the back of the queue” on trade deals.
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