Trump signals 'tremendous increase' in US-UK trade

Trump signals 'tremendous increase' in US-UK trade

US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May speak to press at Davos summit

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday there will be "tremendous increase" in U.K.-U.S. trade.

His comments came at a brief news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“One thing that will be taking place over a number of years will be trade. Trade is going to increase many times,” he said.

Trump said discussions between the two countries will "lead to tremendous increases in trade....which is great for both in terms of jobs."

“We look forward to that and we are starting that process, pretty much as we speak," he said, signaling a future trade deal as Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019.

He said the U.K. and the U.S. have the "same ideas, same ideals” and “we are very much joined at the hip when it comes to the military."

Trump added: “Prime Minister [Theresa] May and myself had a very great relationship although some people don’t necessarily believe that.”

- 'Special relationship'

"I think the feeling is mutual about liking each other a lot," he said.

Speaking to May, he said: "We have great respect for everything you are doing.”

May said the two countries share a "really special relationship."

"[We stand] shoulder to shoulder because we are facing the same challenges across the world."

She added working towards a fruitful trade relationship will be beneficial for both sides.

Responding to a question about his state visit to the U.K., Trump said: “We will talk about that.”

May and Trump have asked their teams to finalize details of a visit to the U.K. later this year, said a statement from Downing Street after the news conference.

Trump recently cancelled an expected February trip to the U.K. to open the new U.S. Embassy building.

The invitation was extended to Trump during May's visit to the U.S. on Jan. 27, 2017, sparking criticism in the U.K. due to a controversial travel ban by Washington on seven Muslim-majority countries.

A petition calling on the British government to cancel the invitation was signed by over 1.85 million people last year. It said any official state visit should be axed because it would cause "embarrassment" to the Queen Elizabeth.

The government responded to the parliamentary petition, saying it believed the American leader should "be extended the full courtesy" of an official reception.

Trump's planned visit to the U.K. came under further attention last November when he re-tweeted anti-Muslim videos originally posted by a fringe far-right group Britain First, an action May labelled "wrong".

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