PM: The UK and US must build an alliance that protects our economies

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The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives in Washington and is met by US officials and the British Ambassador at Joint Base Andrews. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Economic and defence cooperation must be the two pillars of the UK-US alliance, the Prime Minister will tell US lawmakers and businesspeople this week, after travelling to Washington DC.

Pointing to the role our defence partnership has played in protecting our people for decades, the Prime Minister will say that extensive cooperation on economic issues will allow us to do the same thing for the next century.

In recent months and years, the world has seen an increasing number of examples of hostile states using economic coercion to their advantage. From Putin driving up European energy prices, to China’s extensive use of sanctions to punish individuals and government who speak out against human rights abuses.

While our traditional security remains paramount, those who seek to do us harm are increasingly targeting other domains. They are manipulating global markets, withholding crucial resources and trying to establish a stranglehold over the industries that will define our future.

If we are to stay one step ahead and ensure the safety and prosperity of our citizens, we need to make sure our cooperation on economic security is as extensive as our cooperation on traditional security.

The existing strength of the UK-US economic relationship means we are ideally placed to take on these challenges together. Our trade relationship is worth £279 billion a year, and the amount invested in one another’s economies has now surpassed £1 trillion.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the travelling media on the flight to Washington. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

US firms have committed more than £14 billion of new investment in the UK, announced today. This includes £583 million of investment in projects including World Fuel Services and Meld’s green hydrogen facility in Hull, a new Mars facility in the London Gateway Freeport, expansions of BNY Mellon’s existing and Vanguard’s new Manchester offices and a new HCA Healthcare facility in Birmingham. Between them these new investments will create almost 2,500 jobs.

Further investments by US companies in the UK include £9 billion from investment management company BlackRock – taking BlackRock’s total UK investment to £500 billion, £2.4 billion invested by Blackstone, £2 billion invested by KKR and £521m invested by CD&R.

These investments are just a snapshot of the vast economic connections between the UK and the US. In recent months US company Nuveen has acquired Arcmont Asset Management for £800 million and Longfellow have established a £1.5 billion life sciences and innovation real estate fund – bringing the total value of major investments by US companies into the UK to nearly £17 billion since the Prime Minister took office.

Because our economies are so interlinked, with nearly 1.5 million Brits working for American companies and more than 1.2 million Americans working for British companies, it is paramount that we approach these issues in a unified and coordinated way.

The Prime Minister will use his visit to the US this week to drive forward these efforts. In his meetings with President Biden, Congresspeople and American business leaders he will advocate for further joint action to safeguard against external threats to our economies, strengthen our supply chains and support the industries of the future.

The Prime Minister said:

“The UK and US have always worked in lockstep to protect our people and uphold our way of life. As the challenges and threats we face change, we need to build an alliance that also protects our economies.

“Just as interoperability between our militaries has given us a battlefield advantage over our adversaries, greater economic interoperability will give us a crucial edge in the decades ahead.

“By combining our vast economic resources and expertise, we will grow our economies, create jobs and keep our people safe long into the future.”

A re-energised and enhanced economic relationship between the UK and the US presents huge opportunities for our people – supporting the PM’s priority to grow our economy and create better paying jobs.

Every day, innovations in science and technology are unlocking new possibilities for our people and businesses – doing everything from bringing down the cost of the things we buy to accelerating our transition to clean energy.

In recent years the UK and US have taken a number of steps to enhance our economic relationship, removing barriers including the ban on British beef and lamb exports, and tariffs on steel and whisky. In recent weeks we agreed a new deal to give architects more access to US markets.

Source: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP

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