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UK and US look to strengthen economic security through Atlantic Declaration 


Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden announced a new economic agreement this week, designed to strengthen critical supply chains as well as support investments in future technologies. 

The Declaration recognises the already close ties between the two nations whilst this new agreement sets out a pathway to strengthen those economic bonds to move quicker and increasingly in lockstep in future. 

The Declaration covers quite a bit of ground, including:

  • More information sharing during a crisis to reduce tech supply chain vulnerabilities 
  • A new civil nuclear partnership
  • A new ‘data bridge’ for UK-US data sharing
  • A new international summit on AI safety 
  • Cooperation to stop adversaries from developing more powerful tech
  • Joint research into AI, 5G and 6G, quantum, engineering biology and semi-conductors
  • A potential pathway for UK firms to benefit from US government investment 

Read more detail on the UK government website here

Sunak said of the agreement that: “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.”

What does this mean for exporters? 

At the moment, not too much. This agreement is a far cry from the manifesto-promised fully-fledged trade deal that the Conservative party offered in 2019. Three US Presidents have kicked that can down the road in succession, in part due to worries over the UK’s handling of Brexit and Northern Ireland. 

Read more: Talks over UK – US trade deal unlikely to restart until 2025

It does mean there may be new opportunities, and updated regulations, to look out for in the medium term. 

Updated rules on data transfer would make it a lot easier for UK and US firms to work in lockstep with less red tape and save an estimated £92m each year. And any new pathway to deride investment from a government is a great opportunity should any UK-based firm be able to capitalise on it. 

Negotiations are now underway over many aspects of the new partnership, so expect further announcements towards the end of 2023. 

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