According to the Mail Online US ambassador Woody Johnson is insisting that chlorinated chicken must be included in trade between the two countries. He said that the UK had “already approved antimicrobial washes to stop food poisoning in prewashed salads” – and therefore, similar chicken cleaning process used in the States does not make a huge difference.
His words come as a starting gun in 2020 for trade discussions between the UK and US government.
As Brexit approaches ON Friday, the two countries will lock horns in trade negotiations.
There is a shared belief – and hope – that a deal could be struck by the end of 2020.
And a sticking point would be the issue of chlorinated chicken.
The US is sticking to its guns, and hope that their agriculture would be able to infiltrate the UK market.
But UK ministers have raised concerns that the sales of such chickens could come under scrutiny over animal welfare standards.
Via the Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: “When it comes to antimicrobial washes, the European Food Safety Authority agrees they are the most effective and economical way to fight food-borne illness, campylobacter in particular.
“This is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and most Britons contract it from contaminated chicken.
e continued: “These products should absolutely be included in a US-UK free trade agreement that will create new markets for farmers from both countries and offer more choices to British and American consumers.”
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is hoping to push through a trade deal by the end of the year.
Talking in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, he said: “The UK is our number one ally and it would be at the top of the list of trade agreements.
“We look forward to getting that done this year.”
It comes as reports suggest that the first phase of the UK-US trade deal could be done as soon as March, according to a leading trade expert.
Number 10 are hoping to finalise trade deals with the US, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Sam Lowe, from the Centre for European Reform, told Channel 4 News: “The US wants to sign a comprehensive trade agreement but that requires the UK to diverge from EU standards and regulations, which means we cannot remain aligned with the EU on things such as food standards.
“I predict that there will be a big launch event to start the US-UK trade talks.
“We will then find something small, related to trade, to negotiate with Trump quickly. A limited, defined agreement.
“We could support maybe scrapping the digital services tax in exchange for the US excluding us from the Boeing Airbus retaliation.”