- By Sam Francis
- Political reporter, BBC News
UK companies can access US green funding as part of a plan to boost UK-US relations announced by Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden.
The pair announced the Atlantic Declaration, aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two countries, at a White House press conference.
The prime minister said the accord, which is not a full-fledged trade deal, would bring benefits “as quickly as possible”.
UK electric car companies can gain access to US green tax credits and subsidies
When the two sides announced a partnership to strengthen economic security, Mr. Sunak said the UK-US relationship was an “indispensable alliance”.
The Atlantic Declaration, which includes commitments to ease trade barriers, closer ties in the defense industry, and an agreement to protect data and strengthen cooperation on AI.
Asked by BBC Politics Editor Chris Mason if the new deal was an “admitment of failure” in striking a broader trade deal between the UK and US, Mr Sunak said. today’s agreement “meets the specific challenges and opportunities we face right now”.
An Anglo-American free trade agreement is a key pledge in the Conservative Party’s 2019 general election manifesto.
Mr Sunak insists the statement’s more targeted approach is about “what can be in the best interest of our citizens as quickly as possible”.
“There is no doubt that the economic relationship between our two countries has never been stronger,” Mr. Sunak said.
Plans for a full free trade agreement were abandoned months ago. On the flight to Washington, Mr. Sunak said: “Right now, that’s not a priority for either the US or the UK.”
However, Labor’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy criticized Mr Sunak, saying the government had left “Britain’s cupboard” empty by failing to secure a trade deal.
“This statement shows that the government has failed to deliver on the comprehensive trade agreement it promised in its 2019 manifesto, or has failed to secure ally status under the Inflation Reduction Act, which is so important to our country. with the auto industry and the green transition,” said Mr. Lammy.
Mr Biden said the special relationship with the UK was in “really good shape”, referring to their cooperation on Ukraine.
“Together, we are providing economic and humanitarian aid as well as security systems to Ukraine in the fight against the brutal invasion from Russia,” he said.
New green sponsorship
Under current policy, the IRA offers a tax credit of $3,750 (£3,000) for each electric vehicle (EV) made in the US or using parts mined, handled or manufactured in that country.
The UK has been a net exporter of raw materials for EV batteries to the US. But countries that don’t have a trade deal with the United States are barred from accessing IRA benefits.
The Atlantic Declaration commits the UK and the US to a new key minerals deal – this agreement will provide buyers with vehicles manufactured using key minerals developed by the companies. UK companies that process, recycle or mine have access to tax credits.
The statement said the deal would be made after consultations with the US Congress.
Japan already has a similar agreement, allowing Japanese companies to also reduce export taxes on minerals used to make EV batteries.
‘Push the boundaries’
The statement also includes a commitment to a “New Data Bridge between the UK and the US” that will allow UK companies to transfer data freely to certified US organisations, without having to pay.
Downing Street estimates the change will affect around 55,000 businesses in the UK – translating into direct savings of £92.4 million a year.
Mr. Biden also supported Mr. Sunak’s plan to host an international summit on AI safety to be held in the UK later this year.
“The UK and the US have always pushed the boundaries of what we can achieve together,” he said.
“So it is only natural that, in the face of the greatest transformation in our economy since the industrial revolution, we will look to each other to build a strong economic future together.” stronger.
“The Atlantic Declaration sets a new standard for economic cooperation, propelling our economy into the future so we can protect our people, create jobs and grow our economies together.” economy.”
Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Sunak agreed to work on improving supply chain resiliency and efforts would be stepped up to remove Vladimir Putin’s Russia from the global civilian nuclear market.