Australia’s trade minister Dan Tehan has been allowed to meet Ms Truss one-on-one in London this week, notwithstanding coronavirus regulations in place. It’s expected that both sides will find a common ground to make progress in the trade negotiations.
Dan Tehan is expected to arrive in London later today, ahead of two days of serious trade talks between the two officials.
The UK is understood to be frustrated with the Australian officials’ method of negotiation as prior to his appointment in December talks were said to be making “really rapid progress”, with sources in Ms Truss’ department saying Canberra needs to show some seriousness on their path to unblock the negotiations.
The trade official has been accused of being too “slow to move on the key UK asks”, including on sensitive areas in services, investment and business visas particularly in legal services and management consultancy.
With Australian officials hinting that the trade of goods and services between both countries valued at £17bn in 2018-2019 the stalled negotiations could be described as an expensive delay.
Meanhile, the UK is also seeking for reduced tariffs on Scotch whisky and cars, which are both currently levied at five per cent, with a source close to Ms Truss telling the Telegraph that “he is inexperienced compared to Liz. He needs to show that he can play at this level.
“Australia need to show us the colour of their money. They’re great friends of ours and talk a good game about free trade and want a deal, but they need to match those words with action.”
However, Ms Truss belives that talking one-on-one will make so much difference and progress, just like she did before sealing a deal with Japan last year.