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No room for sentiment as Trump visits UK


Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, will see British Prime Minister Theresa May host US President Donald Trump for a black-tie dinner on Thursday evening on the first day of his visit to the UK. [Photo/Agencies]

Donald Trump will not leave room for sentiment in discussions with one of the United States' oldest allies when he begins his first visit to the United Kingdom as US president on Thursday.

The term "special relationship" was coined in 1946 by former UK prime minister Winston Churchill as the Cold War began, and the two nations share many interests and values-an understanding that has served both well, especially in terms of intelligence sharing.

"Trump is pragmatic and can be expected to place emphasis on the commercial and financial aspects of the relationship," said Clifford A. Kiracofe, former senior professional staff member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Kiracofe emphasized that trade relations with the UK are a priority for Trump, adding that "this can tie into the UK searching worldwide for different post-Brexit market relationships.

"British investments in the US are always welcomed, and no doubt Trump will welcome more direct investment," Kiracofe said.

Alan Barrell, a professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Cambridge, said UK-US trade relations are more important as Brexit nears.

"It's hoped that an all-out trade war can be avoided, as the UK wants to grow exports generally to the US and attract US investment to the UK's industry and infrastructure," he said.

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