FirstFT: Brexit fears hamper US-UK trade deal


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The United States is delaying a deal to remove Trump-era tariffs on British steel and aluminum as Washington worries about threats from London to change post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland.

Brussels and Washington have repeatedly warned London that the unilateral modification of the EU-UK deal that sealed Britain’s exit from the bloc in 2020 could threaten peace on the island of Ireland.

In a communication seen by the Financial Times, a U.S. Department of Commerce official said talks on easing tariffs on metals could not move forward due to U.S. concerns over British threats to trigger the article 16, a safeguard clause of the post-Brexit protocol in Northern Ireland.

The clause cancels part of the UK’s exit from the EU and would suspend checks on goods traveling to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

Have you been affected by the steel and aluminum tariffs? Let us know at [email protected]. Thanks for reading FirstFT Europe / Africa – Jennifer

1. Covid delivers consumer activity in the euro zone Rising infections, a new variant, and the reimposition of pandemic restrictions threaten the eurozone’s economic rebound, with fewer people going out to shop, eat out and visit cinemas, according to high-frequency data.

2. Turkish Minister of Finance resigns Lutfi Elvan, who was seen as the last voice of economic orthodoxy in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cabinet, has been replaced by a loyalist amid a drop in the pound.

3. Phoenix urges solvency reforms to unlock £ 50bn for UK economy Britain’s largest long-term savings provider urged ministers to reform EU solvency rules that still apply in Britain to help it free up investments to jumpstart the economy , stimulate infrastructure and meet commitments on climate change.

4. WTA suspends tennis tournaments in China The US-based Women’s Tennis Association has announced that it will suspend tournaments in China, sparking tensions with Beijing over the handling of allegations of sexual assault by star player Peng Shuai against a former senior Chinese official.

Peng Shuai serves during a match

Many top tennis stars have expressed concern for Peng Shuai’s well-being after accusing a former senior member of the Chinese Communist Party of sexual assault © AFP via Getty Images

5. Epstein’s accuser testifies that she was introduced to Trump A woman who is now in her 40s told a New York court yesterday that late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein took her to the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to meet Donald Trump when she was 14. Catch up on the trial here.

Coronavirus digest

  • The Omicron variant of the coronavirus threatens to intensify the imbalances that slow growth and boost inflation, the OECD has warned.

  • The UK will purchase an additional 114 million doses of vaccine to use over the next two years, including injections modified to combat future variants.

  • Jay powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, sent a message to markets on Tuesday with his hawkish comments: Fighting inflation is the central bank’s top priority. FT view is that Powell was correct in removing the confusing word “transient.”

  • Multi-manager hedge funds are pushing up merchant pay after thriving during the coronavirus crisis.

  • KPMG told his UK listeners that they would be expected at customer site offices four days a week in the future. In the latest episode of the new Working It podcast, host Isabel Berwick explores the subject of flat hierarchies.

The day to come

OPEC + meeting The group will announce what it intends to do regarding oil prices, which have fallen nearly 20% in one week due to the spread of the Omicron variant, and is concerned about how the vaccine will have it. withstand. OPEC watchers expect it to halt its supply increases. (Nasdaq)

Old Bexley and Sidcup By-Election The vote to fill the London seat, held by Tory MP James Brokenshire before his death, will be the first electoral test for the ruling Tory party following a sordid scandal.

United States Introduces Covid Restrictions President Joe Biden is expected to announce a series of measures designed to slow the spread of the virus over the winter, including stricter testing requirements for international travelers. The country has identified its first reported case of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant in an individual who had returned from South Africa.

Join over 100 influential leaders and top FT journalists from America and around the world for the Global Boardroom conference as they discuss how to build resilient, sustainable and inclusive economies and businesses in a world transformed by crisis. Free registration here.

What else do we read

The 25 most influential women in FT in 2021 We’ve expanded the list and asked some of the world’s most influential women to write the articles, including Jane Fraser, Christine Lagarde, Elizabeth Warren, Billie Jean King, Malala and Greta Thunberg, as well as readers like you.

Across continents, industries and issues, all of these remarkable women shaped this tumultuous year

Across continents, industries and issues, all of these remarkable women shaped this tumultuous year © Freya Betts

Boris Johnson cannot wish for the disappearance of European tensions Hopes of a relationship reset remain vague and hampered by continued post-Brexit negotiations. Few are willing to afford the means, writes Robert Shrimsley.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s unequal return to power Once Israel’s most important person, the five-time prime minister faces criminal charges for alleged corruption that block his way to the head of the right-wing camp. His next big opportunity, however, could come in late 2023.

Nuclear negotiators struggle to resuscitate deal with Iran As talks begin this week to bail out the nuclear restriction deal, which was torpedoed three years ago by former US President Donald Trump, it looks like the attempt to return to the status quo will not happen, writes David Gardner. Do you think negotiators can resuscitate the deal? Tell us in our latest survey.

Iran Nuclear Chances Survey

China’s fight against financial fraud Tens of thousands of citizens are victims of financial fraud, a crime that has become a reality in the world’s second-largest economy, which has a rapidly growing middle to high-income population. Now, a nationwide anti-fraud education campaign aims to tackle scammers. But is it effective?


FT Weekend columnist Luke Edward Hall recommends his best gifts for the home. Click here for ideas of places to buy quirky items while supporting small businesses and the environment.

Montage of holiday tree ornaments

Choose Keeping Hand Blown Balls

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