Ryan: Sign a free-trade deal with Britain as soon as they're out of the EU

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday June 29th, 2016

Unlike Obama, who threatened to send our closest ally to the "back of the queue."

You might recall that one of the tactics tried by the Remain crowd prior to last week's Brexit vote was have Barack Obama - standing in the presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron - essentially threaten the UK with being sent to the "back of the queue" for purposes of getting any bilateral trade deal negotiated with the United States. Stay in the EU, Obama basically said, because we work out trade deals with transnational outfits and not with individual allies.

That proposition is absurd on its face, but it's also no way to treat one of your longest standing allies. It was probably a bluff too, since it's certainly not in the interests of the United States to be lacking a coherent trade relationship with Britain. You might never hear Obama say that, because he boxed himself into a corner with his threat, and his presidency will be over before he has to address it anyway.

But Paul Ryan understands how you treat an ally:

Seeking to preserve the “special relationship” between the two nations, Ryan, R-Wis., said the U.S. should pursue a unique trade partnership with the U.K.

In interviews Friday with Wisconsin media, Ryan said this deal should be negotiated on a “parallel track” with current U.S. negotiations with the European Union on a pact known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Ryan said the agreement with Britain would be easier to implement than the European Union trade deal.

"We need to emphasize that they are our indispensable ally,” Ryan told Milwaukee’s WISN radio. “We have a special relationship, and I think that does mean we should have a trade agreement with England—with Great Britain.”

Before the EU, that organization's 29 member states were all free agents for the purpose of trade agreements with the U.S., and on top of that there are more than 130 nations throughout the world. Somehow the United States managed to work out trade deals with most of them - certainly including our closest allies - before we had the convenience of knocking out 29 nations at once by dealing with the transnational bureaucrats at the EU. I think we can work out a deal with Britain, and we obviously will do so quickly once they are free from the EU.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if behind-the-scenes talks take place on an unofficial basis while the EU/UK divorce is still being worked out.

But ir probably won't be Barack Obama who triggers it, not only because time is running out for him but because he once again ran his mouth without thinking through the real implications of what he was saying - and now he can't back away from the position he took without looking like an even bigger fool than he already does.

It's probably just as well. President Trump will likely work out a better deal with the Brits anyway.

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