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US and UK Reach Νew Economic Agreement but Fail to Reach Free Trade Agreement.

London, Friday, 09 June 2023

The US and UK signed a new economic partnership on Thursday to promote economic cooperation between the two countries, but they were unable to reach a long-sought free trade agreement.

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Joe Biden met at the White House to discuss the Atlantic Declaration for a Twenty-First Century US-UK Economic Partnership, which aims to modernise the two countries' economic ties.

The agreement was praised by both leaders, with Biden emphasising that it broadens "our cooperation to shape the challenges and future for the remainder of this century."

"It's a testament to the depth, breadth and, I would argue, the intensity of our cooperation and coordination, which has existed continuously between the United Kingdom and the United States," he told reporters.

No issue of global significance exists, he continued, "where our nations are not working together to lead and where we are not upholding our shared values to improve things."

Sunak agreed and praised the deal, describing it as "a new economic partnership for a new age, of a kind that has never been agreed before."

"Yes, a collaboration that safeguards our folks. More importantly, it serves as a test case for the reinvented partnerships that President Biden has spoken so passionately about, he added.

"We've announced billions of dollars' worth of investment in the UK, which will sustain thousands of employment. And it will continue to do that under the arrangement we reached today. It will assist tens of thousands of small firms in the UK by cutting out pointless red tape, making it much simpler for them to trade and conduct business in the US, he claimed.

The correct things for us to be focusing on, he continued, are "those types of specific targeted measures that will deliver real benefits to people as quickly as possible."

The Atlantic Declaration aims to improve business ties between Washington and London in a variety of fields, including crucial and developing technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and semiconductors.

It also aims to encourage reciprocal talent flows on both sides of the Atlantic and to mobilise private finance in both nations to fill funding shortfalls in strategic technology. To make key technologies more resilient in the future, supply chains are also being looked at.

Sunak stated that he and Biden reached an agreement to collaborate moving forward on AI safety, adding that "our job as leaders is to ensure that this technological revolution makes us more secure and not less." He cited a warning issued by AI industry executives last week calling for more regulation of the industry.

The CEOs of three leading AI companies—Google DeepMind, Open AI, and Anthropic—two of the three Turing Award winners regarded as the "godfathers" of AI, as well as the authors of the two standard textbooks on AI, Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning—signed a 22-word open letter published by the nonprofit Centre for AI Safety.

"Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war," they cautioned.

The urgent request comes as AI experiences fast advancements, which have heightened concerns about the possible dangers of the technology.

(Written and edited by: The Decision Maker – International Relations editors)


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