Biden, UK’s Boris Johnson discuss Paris accord, trade, coronavirus

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Biden, UK's Boris Johnson discuss Paris accord, trade, coronavirus


President Biden had his first phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday, where Johnson pressed the new president for a U.S.-U.K. trade deal. 

Johnson also welcomed some of Biden’s new executive actions. 

“The Prime Minister warmly welcomed the President’s decision to re-join the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the World Health Organization and the COVAX programme to ensure equitable access for vaccines,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement, adding that Johnson praised Biden’s early action to tackle climate change. 

 “They also discussed the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries, and the Prime Minister reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible,” the spokesperson continued. 

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The U.K. only recently regained control over its national trade policy after the end of a post-Brexit transition period. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said forging a new trade deal was low on Biden’s list of priorities, as he was focusing attention on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and getting his $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill passed.

The White House in its own statement said the two leaders discussed climate change, curbing Covid-19 and shared foreign policy priorities in China, Iran and Russia.

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The call was Biden’s third with a foreign leader this week. He spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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