The Prime Minister and President Biden have agreed an innovative economic partnership, which will see our countries work together more closely than ever before across the full spectrum of our economic, technological, commercial and trade relations.
The ‘Atlantic Declaration’ heralds a new era for the thriving economic relationship between the UK and US, and builds on decades of very close cooperation on defence and security. It applies the same principle – that the UK and US will work together in the face of new challenges – to our economic partnership as we long have to our defence alliance.
This unprecedented bilateral partnership takes a different approach to our economic relationship than we have taken before, recognising that our economies must move with speed and agility to address the challenges we face.
Following their meeting at the White House, the Prime Minister and President Biden have announced new measures under the Atlantic Declaration – an action plan for the future of our partnership. This includes:
Our economies are going through the greatest change since the industrial revolution, with emerging technologies like biotechnology and AI transforming the way we live and work. But while those new technologies offer huge potential to save lives, grow our economies and tackle climate change, in the hands of our adversaries they could be used as tools to undermine our national security.
With our highly interconnected economies, our leadership in areas like emerging technology and our deeply entrenched shared values, the UK and US are natural partners to approach these issues together.
This new approach to our economic partnership, which puts the strength of our relationship front and centre in addressing the biggest challenges we face, will both deliver for our people and support an open international order.
The Prime Minister said:
"The UK and US have always pushed the boundaries of what two countries can achieve together. Over generations we have fought alongside one another, shared intelligence we don’t share with anyone else, and built the strongest investment relationship in world history.
So it’s natural that, when faced with the greatest transformation in our economies since the industrial revolution, we would look to each other to build a stronger economic future together.
The Atlantic Declaration sets a new standard for economic cooperation, propelling our economies into the future so we can protect our people, create jobs and grow our economies together."
Negotiations will begin immediately on many aspects of the partnership, including on a Critical Minerals Agreement. An agreement would give buyers of vehicles made using critical minerals processed or mined by UK companies access to tax credits in line with the US Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act provides a $3,750 incentive for each vehicle, on conditions including that the critical minerals used in its production – principally used in the battery – are sourced from the US or a country with whom the US has a critical minerals agreement.
The UK is already a net exporter of raw materials for EV batteries to the US and this agreement will help UK-based firms involved in the mining, recycling and refining of critical minerals who are suppling US electric vehicle and battery manufacturers – benefitting this growing industry. This is a a sector with companies all over the UK, including nickel production in Wales and lithium processing in Teesside.
With a trading relationship worth £279 billion a year, and shared investment totalling over £1 trillion, the US is already our most important trading partner. Earlier this week the Prime Minister announced £14 billion of new US investment into the UK, demonstrating the importance of this relationship to UK growth and jobs.
Teams from the White House and Downing Street will meet regularly to drive action under the Atlantic Declaration, ensuring it continues to meet the high objectives the Prime Minister and President Biden have set today.
Reacting to news of the Atlantic Declaration, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:
“This is an important milestone in developing ever closer trade, investment and economic relations between the UK and the US. Other than the EU, the United States is the biggest export market for our firms, and the commitments the Declaration provides will open up new opportunities.
“It sets out clear principles to boost key business sectors on both sides of the Atlantic. On technology, energy co-operation, supply chains, investment and removing trade barriers it outlines a clear pathway for more bilateral trade and investment.
“We also welcome the clear commitment to negotiate a strong deal on access to the US market for critical minerals like cobalt, graphite, lithium, nickel and manganese that have been extracted or processed in the UK. This will apply to US supply chains in sectors eligible for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act, like electric vehicle production.
“President Biden reflected on the interdependence of our supply chains in his comments this evening – and rightly so.
“A UK-US Data Bridge when negotiated will reduce red tape on cross border data flows for business which are the lifeblood of growing our £279bn per year bilateral trading relationship.
“We hope business will be strongly involved in the work of each of the five pillars – including the workplan and Strategic Technologies Investor Council on AI, quantum technologies and other emerging technology and supply chain issues, like advanced semiconductors.
“The BCC will support both Governments in making even further progress in key areas like cross-border digital trade and supply chains on steel and aluminium.”