From pork pies to shower trays – US trade rules Boris Johnson wants changed

The complexity of a potential trade deal with the United States has been set out by Boris Johnson, as he hit out at rules marking it harder for British cauliflowers to be sold across the Atlantic.

Talks about a trade deal are expected to feature heavily when the Prime Minister and US President Donald Trump meet in Biarritz.

Here are some of the barriers to trade highlighted by Mr Johnson:

– The Prime Minister said the UK sold 250,000 shower trays around the world, but "there is some kind of bureaucratic obstacle that stops us selling them in the US because they are allegedly too low".

– Wallpaper, pillows and other fabrics have to be fire tested again when they arrive in the US rather than being automatically admitted.

– Railway carriages sold to the US are hit with a 14% tariff, whereas American carriages destined for Britain have a 1.7% levy.

– In spite of the overturning of a ban on British beef in 2014, "not a morsel" has entered the US market.

– Melton Mowbray pork pies are currently unable to enter the US market because of "some sort of food and drug administration restriction".

– Cauliflowers "can only enter specified ports not including Miami, which is where UK exporters want them".

UK cauliflowers have issues (Chris Radburn/PA)
UK cauliflowers have issues (Chris Radburn/PA)

– UK bell peppers cannot get into the US market at all.

– Wine shipments are heavily restricted. "If you want to export wine made in England to the US you have to go through a US distributor".

– British microbreweries are taxed in a way which does not apply to beer from US competitors arriving in the UK.

– To sell insurance in the UK "you only need to speak to two regulators", but in the US it is 50.

– British rulers or tape measures cannot be sold "to any branch of the US military", the Prime Minister said.

He told reporters in Biarritz: "The point I am making is that there are massive opportunities for UK companies to open up, to prise open the American market.

"We intend to seize those opportunities but they are going to require our American friends to compromise and to open up their approach because currently there are too many restrictions."

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