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U.S., UK trade chiefs meet, agree to strengthen bilateral ties

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FILE PHOTO: The flags of the United States and the United Kingdom stand after bi-lateral photo between U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson was cancelled at the State Department in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and her British counterpart Liz Truss agreed to continue working to strengthen bilateral ties in a meeting in Washington on Tuesday, Tai's office said in a statement.

Tai and Truss agreed that their recent truce in a long-running trade dispute over aid for planemakers Airbus and Boeing creates a platform for "future collaboration on shared challenges, including those posed by the anti-competitive practices of China and other non-market economies."

They also stressed the importance of fair competition in the global economy, and agreed to work together to enhance the international trading system and address forced labor issues.

Truss said the two discussed working together to tackle unfair trade practices, making progress on cooperation on large civil aircraft, and boosting the 196 billion pound ($270.75 billion) trading relationship. "Trade = growth = jobs," she wrote on Twitter.

During a five-day visit to the United States, Truss will also travel to the West Coast to promote Britain as a destination for tech investment.

Britain and the United States started talks on a post-Brexit free trade deal when Donald Trump was president but failed to reach an accord before Joe Biden took office in January.

The Biden administration has put all new trade deals on hold while it reviews the trade policies of the Trump administration. ($1 = 0.7239 pounds)

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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