US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said on Tuesday they have launched formal trade talks and hope to move at a quick pace to reach a comprehensive agreement.

"In light of the ongoing global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the first round of negotiations will be conducted virtually, with UK and US negotiators engaging in discussions over the next two weeks in nearly 30 different negotiating groups covering all aspects of a comprehensive trade agreement," the two leaders said in a joint statement.

"Both parties agree that a Free Trade Agreement would contribute to the long-term health of our economies, which is vitally important as we recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19."

The US-UK talks on the post-Brexit trade deal were originally planned earlier this year but were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.