PHILADELPHIA, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 27th Jan, 2017 ) : Prime Minister Theresa May arrived Thursday in the United States where she will become the first foreign leader to meet President Donald Trump, seeking reassurance and a trade deal for post-Brexit Britain. Viewed as a diplomatic coup in Westminster to be first through the door, the talks at the White House on Friday will be closely watched in Washington for clues about Trump's foreign policy.
May is keen to start talks on a US-UK free trade agreement for when Britain leaves the European Union, which is also likely to mean leaving Europe's single market and its 500 million consumers. Trump has hailed the Brexit vote as "smart", believing it mirrors his own anti-establishment rise to the White House, but his calls for a protectionist trade regime could prove problematic for May. The president's criticism of the EU and NATO have also caused alarm across the Atlantic -- as have his comments on torture, and plans to bar Muslims from entering the US.
May's first stop in the United States was Philadelphia where she was to address Republican Party lawmakers on a winter retreat, shortly after a speech by Trump. Both London and Washington have expressed their interest in a quick trade deal, although under EU rules Britain must wait until it has left the bloc before it signs deals with any other states. May intends to start the two-year Brexit negotiations within weeks. "There is much we can do in the interim, in terms of looking at how we can remove some of the barriers to trade in a number of areas," she told reporters on her plane.