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New U.S. – UK Economic Partnership Declaration

On June 8, 2023, the United States and the United Kingdom announced the Atlantic Declaration for a Twenty-First Century U.S.-UK Economic Partnership (“Declaration”). The Declaration reaffirms the need to adapt and reimagine the unique alliance between the two countries. From critical and emerging technologies to digital transformation, clean energy, and defense collaboration, businesses can leverage the partnership to exploit new trans-Atlantic opportunities.

(This is the first post of a three-part series on U.S., UK and EU alignment on economic security strategy.)

  1. Critical and Emerging Technologies

The Declaration aims to ensure U.S.-UK leadership and close collaboration in critical and emerging technologies such as quantum technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), semiconductors, telecommunications, and synthetic biology. The commitments present opportunities for businesses involved in these sectors to collaborate on research and development efforts, foster private investment, and facilitate talent flows between the two countries.

One initiative to note is the establishment of a new U.S.-UK Strategic Technologies Investor Council within the next twelve months to mobilize private capital towards strategic technologies. The newly formed Council will bring leading investors from both sides of the Atlantic together with national security experts to analyze where funding gaps currently exist and unlock new private investment in critical and emerging technologies.

  1. Technology Protection and Supply Chains

The Declaration emphasizes the importance of updating and coordinating regulatory frameworks related to export controls, outbound investment, sanctions, and research and development security to address the changing geostrategic and technological landscape.

Amongst other measures, the U.S. has reaffirmed its intention to develop a targeted set of controls on outbound investments in sensitive technologies whilst the UK intends to engage a range of stakeholders to develop an evidence base to assess and inform the UK’s approach to such investments. In addition, the UK will consult later this year on how to best tackle sensitive technology transfers from an export control perspective and target end uses and end users of concern. With respect to sanctions, the U.S. and the UK commit to collaborating closely to tackle sanctions evasion and jointly target those facilitating Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in Russia, Belarus, and in third countries, including those who help Russia acquire goods and technology that support Russian aggression. Lastly, the U.S. and UK will work bilaterally to share analysis, develop, and deepen channels for coordination and timely consultation during critical technology supply chain disruptions and crises.

  1. Inclusive and Responsible Digital Transformation:

The Declaration recognizes the need to shape the policy environment around technology and enable responsible innovation. It includes commitments to facilitate secure data transfers between the two countries and establish a U.S.-UK Data Bridge to that end, enhance cooperation on AI, and develop privacy-enhancing technologies.

  1. Clean Energy Economy

The U.S. and the UK are committed to building a clean energy economy, reducing carbon emissions, and developing resilient supply chains for critical minerals and batteries.

The parties will negotiate a Critical Minerals Agreement focused on key minerals essential for electric vehicles, ensuring consistency in supply chain diversification and labor and environmental standards. The Agreement would allow for cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese, and nickel extracted or processed in the UK to count toward sourcing requirements for clean vehicles eligible for the Section 30D clean vehicle tax credit of the Inflation Reduction Act.

In addition, a Joint Clean Energy Supply Chain Action Plan will be launched to identify and implement near-term actions to accelerate the development of clean energy capacity in both countries and other nations. This will include public-private consultations, stress-test exercises, and measures to enhance supply chain resilience, focusing on offshore wind and electric vehicle batteries. Lastly, the parties will establish a Civil Nuclear Partnership overseen by senior officials from both governments, with a view to prioritizing joint action to encourage the establishment of new nuclear infrastructure and fuel cycle capabilities by 2030, reducing reliance on Russian fuel and services.

  1. Defense, Health Security, and Space

The Declaration aims to strengthen collaboration in defense, health security, and space. This will include optimizing defense cooperation, deepening collaboration on biological and health security, and enhancing bilateral cooperation in space exploration and technology.


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