LONDON — On July 24, trade talks began between Britain and America. All right, they weren’t formally called trade talks: As long as Britain is still in the European Union, it is supposed to contract out all its commercial decisions to Brussels. Officially, the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, and the British trade secretary, Liam Fox, met for broad discussions about what might happen when Brexit takes effect in 2019.
Still, both sides can see the prize. For decades, there have been fitful negotiations between Washington and Brussels on trade liberalization, but they have always run up against the protectionism of France and some southern European states.
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