Trump predicts 'tremendous' increase in UK-US trade


US President Donald Trump has said he expects a "tremendous" increase in trade with the UK as a result of talks which he said were getting under way.

Speaking as he met Prime Minister Theresa May in Davos, Mr Trump sought to kill off suggestions of a rift sparked by her rebuke over his retweet of videos posted by a UK far-right group and his decision not to visit London for the opening of the US embassy.

Declaring that he wanted to correct the "false rumour" of a transatlantic falling-out, he assured Mrs May: "We love your country."

Britain and the US are "joined at the hip" militarily and America will always be ready to "fight for you", he told her.

Trump Davos
US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May meet in Davos (Evan Vucci/AP)

In response to reporters' questions, both Mr Trump and Mrs May said they would "talk about" his mooted state visit to the UK, but neither gave any clues as to when it might take place.

Shaking hands with the president after their bilateral meeting at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort, Mrs May said they had enjoyed a "great discussion" about the prospects for improved trade relations.

And Mr Trump said he expected trade between the US and UK to "increase many times" over the coming years.

"The trade concepts and discussions that will be taking place are going to lead to tremendous increases in trade between our two countries, which is great for both in terms of jobs," said the president.

"We look forward to that and we are starting that process pretty much as we speak."

Mr Trump said he wanted to correct a "false rumour" of a transatlantic rift - sparked by their earlier spat over his retweeting of videos posted by far-right group Britain First and his decision not to visit London for the opening of the new US embassy.

.@Theresa_May, don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017

Meeting Mrs May for talks shortly after her keynote address to the WEF, Mr Trump said: "There's a false rumour out there and I just wanted to correct it, frankly.

"We have great respect for everything you are doing and we love your country, we think it's truly great.

"We are working on transactions in terms of economic development, trade, maybe most importantly military.

"We are very much joined at the hip when it comes to the military. We have the same ideas, the same ideals, and there's nothing that would happen to you that we won't be there to fight for you. You know that."

Switzerland Davos Forum
Donald Trump arrives at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (Gian Ehrenzeller/AP)

Mrs May said she and the president enjoyed "a great discussion" in their meeting, adding:  "We continue to have that really special relationship between the UK and the United States, standing shoulder to shoulder because we are facing the same challenges across the world.

"As you say, we are working together to defeat those challenges and to meet them. And alongside that, working for a good trade relationship in the future which will be to both our benefits.

"So the UK and the US both do well out of this."