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White House says Trump wants bilateral trade deal with UK

The Trump administration is working "rapidly and efficiently" to put together a trade deal between the United States and the U.K., according to the U.S. ambassador to Britain.

"The president has been clear," said Robert "Woody" Johnson, U.S. ambassador to the U.K. "He'd love to do a bilateral trade deal. He's really ready to step up on that the minute we get the go-ahead to do it. He'll get it done fast because I know it's a major priority for him."

Government employees across departments are working to put together a deal as quickly as possible, Johnson told a conference call with reporters.

The comments from the ambassador come as President Donald Trump is set for a working visit to the U.K. this month. Trump has clashed with European allies on trade issues, resulting in U.S. tariffs against European Union members, although these have not so far affected so many imports as those he has imposed on Chinese goods.

For its part, the U.K. hopes a trade deal with the U.S. could help it boost exports as it faces life outside the EU after Brexit.