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Hopes of Anglo-US Trade Deal Dashed as Biden and Sunak Settle on ‘Atlantic Declaration’

Yesterday, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled their “Atlantic Declaration” which seeks to strengthen the countries economic ties, though the declaration merely stands in the place of a comprehensive trade agreement.

While the declaration looks at transatlantic trade generally, it specifically focuses on areas including defence, green energy, nuclear materials and minerals. For example, UK electric car manufactures may receive access to American green tax credits and subsidies.

The declaration also aims to secure trade deals between the US and UK which enhance supply chains and reduce reliance on China. According to the FT,  Biden also “committed to ask Congress to approve the UK as a “domestic source” under US defence procurement
laws, which British officials claimed will allow speedier and more effective co-operation on new military technology.”

As we wrote about earlier, the FT citied a No.10 spokesperson last week who said that “the UK was no longer seeking a trade deal with the US.” This comes seven years after Barack

Obama warned Britons that the UK would be at the “back of the queue” in any trade deal with the US if the country chose to leave the EU. Such comments and yesterday’s declaration suggest that while the two countries will work closely together, negotiations to try to arrange a deal (which started in 2020) have failed.

Reaction to the declaration has been mixed, with for example the BCC saying that it was “an important milestone” while the BritishAmerican Business group said that it demonstrated “intent rather than actual agreement” on trade.

Trump Indicted

In the latest developments over Donald Trump’s handing of classified documents, the former president has been indicted by a federal court According to Trump’s legal team, headed by his attorney Jim Trusty, the charges include conspiracy, obstruction of justice, false statements, and illegally retaining classified documents under the Espionage Act, though the charges have not been made public. This follows the FBI seizing around 11,000 documents from Trump’s  Mar-a-Lago resort of which 100 were classified and marked as top secret. According to US law, it is illegal for any federal officials to remove classified documents and keep them at an unauthorised location.

While this is his second indictment, it is the first federal one and indeed the first time a former President has ever received a feral indictment. Given that Trump is currently campaigning for the 2024 Presidential election, this will no doubt continue to dominate headlines especially since some legal experts say that this indictment will not bar him from running for office.

Earlier this year, Trump became the first former president to be charged in a criminal case after he committed 34 counts of falsifying business records over a hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Choppy Session for Oil After Claims of US-Iran Deal Are Denied

Yesterday, oil markets reacted to the now denied claims that the US and Iran were approaching an interim nuclear deal which could have increased oil supplies. Both the US and Iran have since denied that any such deal is near completion. A spokesperson for the Whitehouse since said that “this report is false and misleading”. Oil prices recovered following the White House’s statement following a 4.8% dpb decline.

WTI crude futures are now trading more or less flat on the day at around $71.2 dpb as they are on track for the second consecutive week of decline.

As we looked at earlier this week, oil prices rose on Monday after OPEC+ delegates met for their latest meeting. With Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman saying, “will do whatever is necessary to bring stability to this market” it was announced that Saudi Arabia will now enact another cut of 1 million bpd in July. This move will see Saudi oil production fall to its lowest level in several years (around 9m bpd), though their decision came in contrast to Russia and the UAE which will not cut production.

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