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The US-UK economic relationship today

On 12 September 2023, transatlantic trade and industry body BritishAmerican Business published its 2023/24 action programme, a document setting out the organisation’s policy priorities for the coming year, according to Emanuel Adam.

Together with the BritishAmerican Business/Bain & Company Transatlantic Confidence Index, the BAB Policy Agenda also provides an assessment of the economic relationship between the US and the UK and what is top of mind for leading transatlantic companies when it comes to shaping policy in the UK and US.

This year’s document describes a cautious optimism that the transatlantic relationship may well reach a new level of economic co-operation. In fact, the preparation of the Policy Programme took place on the eve of the Atlantic Declaration, an ambitious list of aspirations released in June 2023: cooperation on economic security and protection of technology and supply chains; leadership in critical and emerging technologies; clean energy; and digital transformation.

This set of commitments shows that US President Biden and UK Prime Minister Sunak were able to transcend recent political differences between the two countries. They were able to capitalise on the new momentum for their governments to explore transatlantic alignment on important issues where the UK and the US could show global leadership.

The BAB 2023/24 political programme incorporates many of the commitments made in the Atlantic Declaration. Whether it is increased cooperation on data flows and the safe development of artificial intelligence technologies, more flexible export controls in aerospace and defence, the development and deployment of civil nuclear technologies, joint work on priority technologies such as semiconductors, or engagement on the US-UK critical minerals agreement, these are all issues that transatlantic business fervently supports. Transatlantic business leaders believe that these challenges, if properly applied, could become a new model of bilateral economic co-operation from which other countries should learn.

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