Donald Trump talks trade, foreign policy with Boris Johnson before G7

Mr Trump and Mr Johnson are to have their first face-to-face meeting since the British leader assumed office

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 18, 2017 British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (L) and US President Donald Trump greet before a meeting on United Nations Reform at UN headquarters in New York on September 18, 2017. Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes his debut on the global stage at the G7 summit this weekend, August 24, 2019, where all eyes will be on his chumminess with US President Donald Trump.
 / AFP / Brendan Smialowski

US President Donald Trump has discussed matters of trade and foreign policy with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before the pair's meeting at the G7 summit.

Mr Trump and Mr Johnson, who are to have their first face-to-face meeting since the British leader assumed office, have spoken on the phone before the meeting of world leaders in Biarritz, France.

The pair have been compared to one another in the past because of their unconventional styles and similar haircuts. The US president has referred to Mr Johnson as “Britain's Trump” and praised his leadership.

Number 10 Downing Street said the two leaders "discussed topics on the agenda for the summit, including foreign policy issues and global trade".

The call on Friday evening was their second call in a week. The two will meet on the sidelines of the Biarritz summit on Sunday.

The meeting in the south of France is of crucial importance to Mr Johnson who is trying to push for a renegotiation of his Brexit divorce deal from the European Union.

The summit is also a test for Mr Trump who, in the past, has found himself at odds with other G7 leaders. At the close of last gathering in Canada the American leader disowned the final communique agreed to by the other G7 members.

The new British prime minister is seeking to reach a trade deal with Mr Trump. UK officials have emphasised that while they are seeking a quick agreement they also want to make sure they secure the right deal. "Of course we want to move quickly, but we want to get the right deal that works for both sides," a government spokesman said.

The two nations find themselves at odds on trade, over Britain’s National Health Service, animal welfare and agricultural markets. London and Washington have also been in disagreement over how to deal with Iran and climate change issues.

Nevertheless, the Trump White House has remained outwardly amenable to UK with officials saying they are "very enthusiastic" about the prospect of a trade deal.