A full-blown trade deal with the US has not been a priority for a while, Rishi Sunak has acknowledged ahead of talks with Joe Biden.
The prospect of a transatlantic deal was viewed as one of the key potential benefits of Brexit, but Donald Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden saw hopes of a deal fade.
The Prime Minister said: “I think that for a while now, that has not been a priority for either the US or UK.”
Mr Sunak suggested “specific and targeted ways” of improving trade between the two nations were still being considered.
The UK has also pushed ahead with trade talks with individual states.
Speaking to reporters on his trip to Washington, Mr Sunak said the UK and US were focused on “making sure that our economic partnership reflects the particular challenges and opportunities of the time that we’re in right now”.
He added: “That involves not just trade but also economic security, which is increasingly important.
“But when it does come to trade, what we have been doing with the US, we are looking at specific and targeted ways to improve trade between our countries.
“It’s also worth saying that we already have an unbelievably strong trading relationship with the US.”
Asked whether the idea of a trade deal had been an unrealistic promise, Mr Sunak replied: “Since I’ve been Prime Minister, we’ve been focused, as have the US, on making sure that our economic partnership reflects the opportunities and challenges of the time that we face now.”