Biden, Sunak renew economic alliance to adapt to AI, climate change

Washington, Jun 8 (EFE).- US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday renewed their two nations’ economic alliance to adapt it to the challenges posed by artificial intelligence and climate change.

The two leaders signed the so-called “Atlantic Declaration” during a White House meeting and offered details about its contents at a joint press conference.

“If you look at what we’ve announced today, what it does respond to is the particular opportunities and challenges that we face right now and into the future,” Sunak said, calling the declaration an unprecedented new economic alliance for a “new era.”

Among other things, the text establishes that the two nations will begin negotiating a trade agreement on critical minerals, which are fundamental for manufacturing solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as many more products, and the extraction and processing of which are almost completely controlled by China.

In addition, the Atlantic Declaration says that London and Washington will accelerate their cooperation on artificial intelligence, one of the issues that Sunak had made a priority for his meeting with Biden.

In fact, just a few hours ago, the British government announced that this autumn it will organize the first international summit to evaluate the risks and opportunities posed by AI, a subject on which the US and the European Union have already launched a dialogue but in which London has not participated in such an active way because it is no longer part of the EU.

The declaration also includes the commitment by Biden and Sunak to work together in the area of quantum computing, protection of intellectual property and semiconductor manufacturing, another area where China holds the world leadership position.

During the press conference, the US and UK leaders made it clear that one of the objectives of their alliance is to ensure that new technologies are not used by authoritarian regimes to harm democracies around the world.

“Countries like China and Russia are willing to manipulate and exploit our openness, steal our intellectual property, use technology for authoritarian ends or withdraw crucial resources,” Sunak said, adding: “They will not succeed.”

Despite the significance of the Atlantic Declaration, the text is far from the free trade accord with the US that the UK has been pressing for since it withdrew from the European Union in 2020.

Instead of a trade deal encompassing the entire economic sphere, the text signed on Thursday establishes trade pacts by sectors and seeks to foster private investment between the two nations.

In any case, the text is a small victory for Sunak, who will bring home a concrete result from his visit to Washington, a trip that has been dominated by the pomp and circumstance reserved for meetings between the leaders of close allies.

Aside from trade issues, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the “special relationship” that historically has joined their nations, which are especially close not only in political and economic terms but also in the cultural area.

In addition, the relationship between Biden and Sunak has grown closer in recent months because of their similar views on the war in Ukraine.

Washington and London have spearheaded the delivery of military aid to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion of the neighboring country in February 2022, and they have been coordinating to train Ukrainian pilots to fly fourth-generation combat aircraft, including the powerful US-made F-16.

EFE bpm/er/rrt/bp

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