THE SNP have warned that the UK Government must not agree to any “bargain basement” trade deals with the United States, amid suggestions that the Trump administration is taking an “aggressive posture” towards talks over potential post-Brexit agreements.

A report in the Financial Times about the US’s approach – which came as Washington released a list of its negotiating “priorities” – has fuelled fears that the UK could soon be swamped with imports of US produce including hormone-injected beef and chlorinated chicken.

The SNP called for measures to be put in place protect Scotland’s “world-class food and drink sector” and our agricultural and rural industries.

The US’s negotiating priorities include demands for “comprehensive market access” for US agricultural products and the rapid removal of “unwarranted barriers” blocking the import of American food and drink products. Some US produce, including hormone-injected beef and chlorinated chicken are currently banned under EU rules.

The US is also arguing for the UK to remove “unwarranted barriers” related to “sanitary and physio-sanitary” standards in the farming industry.

The paper also demands “full market access” for US pharmaceuticals and medical devices and requires that state enterprises, such as the NHS, do not discriminate against US companies when purchasing goods and services. And it says a condition of a deal would be that the UK Government should “discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel”.

An SNP spokesman said: “The Tory Government has already indicated its desire to do a quick trade deal with Donald Trump after Brexit – in stark comparison to the EU, which said it was unwilling to include agriculture in its own negotiations with the US to protect member states’ interests.”

MSP Gail Ross added: “The US Government’s trade demands couldn’t be clearer – they want the UK to leave the door wide open to produce such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef. Not only does that raise questions over health issues, given that these products are currently banned by the EU, it is also a direct threat to Scotland’s world-class food and drink sector.

“The Tories have repeatedly failed to ensure that Brexit will not put Scotland’s high-quality food and environmental standards at risk.

“If they now give in to Donald Trump’s bargain basement demands, as seems likely, the Tory Government runs the risk of causing long-lasting damage to our world-renowned agricultural and farming industries, and our food and drink sector. That reputation could be smashed to pieces if the Tories desperately succumb to every one of the US’s demands.

“This is yet another example of the huge damage Brexit is causing – but no matter how desperate the UK Government is, it should not sacrifice food safety or our agriculture sector to placate Donald Trump.”

The UK Government welcomed the publication of the US’s negotiating objectives in a document that runs to 18 pages. Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, warned in 2017 that continued adherence to EU standards after Brexit could act as a “landmine” to UK hopes of a free trade deal with the US.

Another sensitive issue are US demands for the inclusion of currency matters in any agreement. One of the objectives states that the US wants Britain to “avoid manipulating exchange rates in order to prevent effective balance of payments adjustment

or to gain an unfair competitive advantage”. In a move that could restrict British room for manoeuvre in future trade talks with countries such as China, Washington is also demanding a mechanism allowing the US to “take appropriate action” if the UK negotiates a free trade agreement with a “non-market country”.

The negotiating objectives represent an opening gambit in negotiations expected to stretch over a number of years.

A spokesman for Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade said: “Negotiating an ambitious free trade agreement with the US that maintains our high standards for businesses, workers and consumers is a priority.

“We welcome the US Government publishing its objectives as it demonstrates its commitment to beginning talks as soon as possible. As part of our open and transparent approach to negotiations, we will publish our own negotiating objectives in due course.”