UK’s Sunak, Biden to focus on deepening economic ties during White House meeting

By Andrea Shalal and Kate Holton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will focus on deepening close economic ties between the United States and Britain when they meet at the White House on Thursday, the war of Russia in Ukraine being another important topic for NATO allies. .

US and UK officials said the two leaders would consider a range of global issues, including shared economic and security interests, artificial intelligence, support for Ukraine and new steps to accelerate the transition to clean energy. .

The meeting, their fourth in as many months, comes as Western officials race to determine whether Russia is responsible for the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, which displaced thousands of people and caused major economic and environmental damage. Ukraine and Russia have exchanged responsibility for the destruction of the dam.

The two leaders will take questions at a joint press conference after their meeting, an opportunity not available to all world leaders who visit the White House, and will also issue a joint statement, officials said.

Biden and Sunak last met in Hiroshima, Japan, at the Group of Seven summit last month. They also met in Belfast in April and in San Diego in March at a trilateral event marking the defense partnership of the United States, Australia and Britain.

The two men will discuss joint U.S.-British leadership on critical and emerging technologies, as well as coordinated efforts to bolster the economic security of both countries, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.

The discussion will focus on the security of artificial intelligence, Britain announced on Wednesday evening, saying it would host the first summit on the issue this autumn to discuss how the risks of AI can be mitigated by coordinated action at the international level.

Sunak hopes to boost trade ties between Britain and the United States, keen to show progress after the Biden administration quashed any early prospect of a post-Brexit free trade deal between the two countries.

Britain has struck deals with individual states and hopes to secure further “targeted deals”.

Sunak is also expected to try to win Biden’s support for Defense Minister Ben Wallace’s bid to become NATO’s next secretary general.

The British leader visited the United States Capitol on Wednesday, where he met with Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress.

Sunak said Wednesday that a new alliance would help London and Washington protect supply chains and navigate a global economy where new powers are “manipulating global markets, withholding crucial resources and trying to establish a stranglehold on industries that will define our future”.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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