US, Britain forge pact to counter new threats
The United States and Britain on Thursday (8 June) announced a new strategic pact as their leaders rededicated the “special relationship” to counter Russia, China and economic instability.
In a White House summit, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak presented a united front on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lightning-fast evolution of artificial intelligence.
But Sunak came away empty-handed on Britain’s ambitions for a post-Brexit free-trade agreement with Washington, settling instead to tack along with Biden’s plan to craft a new green economy through vast industrial subsidies.
An “Atlantic Declaration” adopted by the leaders aims to boost industry ties on defense and renewable energy, in the face of growing competition from authoritarian states.
“We face new challenges to international stability – from authoritarian states such as Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC); disruptive technologies; non-state actors; and transnational challenges like climate change,” the declaration says.
“Countries like China and Russia are willing to manipulate and exploit or steal our intellectual property, use technology for authoritarian ends, or withdraw crucial resources like energy,” Sunak told a news conference alongside Biden.
“They will not succeed,” the prime minister added.
Under the declaration, the two sides agreed to open talks on US treatment of critical minerals used in electric batteries in Britain.
Biden also agreed to ask Congress to designate Britain as a domestic source for defense procurement, to speed up development of next-generation weapons such as hypersonic missiles.