Sunak visits US to discuss AI, Ukraine war, and transatlantic trade

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has embarked on a two-day visit to Washington, DC, where discussions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), the Ukraine conflict, and transatlantic trade are expected to take centre stage. Sunak commenced his visit by paying his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, followed by meetings with congressional leaders. He is slated to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House today.

Sunak emphasised the UK’s potential to assume a “leadership role” in AI regulation during his visit. In an interview with TalkTV, he asserted that the UK is a leading AI nation among democratic countries, capable of implementing appropriate regulation to safeguard its citizens. He also dismissed the notion that the UK’s 2020 departure from the European Union hindered its ability to take on such a role, despite the EU’s recent dialogue with the US about establishing an AI code of conduct.

Citing his experience as the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak underscored his commitment to addressing the numerous issues raised by AI. He expressed his determination to ensure that the UK is well-positioned to benefit from AI while also being protected against its potential harms.

Sunak’s visit coincides with the recent rupture of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine’s Kherson region, which resulted in extensive flooding. Both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of possible sabotage, but neither the US nor the UK has officially identified a perpetrator. However, Sunak stated that if UK intelligence services determined Russia to be responsible for the incident, it would signify a “new low” and an “appalling barbarism” on Russia’s part. He further condemned Russia’s “deliberate strategy to target civilian infrastructure” in an interview with ITV News.

A key focus of Sunak’s trip will be enhancing trade between the UK and the US, with the hope that it will eventually reflect their long-standing military alliance. Despite the Biden administration’s reluctance to consider a full free-trade deal, Sunak released a statement earlier this week advocating for increased economic collaboration. He argued that greater economic interoperability would provide a crucial advantage in the future.

During his visit, Sunak will also engage with US business leaders. He recently announced over £14 billion (US$17 billion) in investments from US companies in the UK, which includes some funds that have already been allocated. Sunak’s government faces mounting pressure to react to Biden’s US$369 billion subsidy package aimed at promoting electric vehicles and other clean technologies in the US. This investment prompted the EU to outline its own industrial plan for electric vehicle development, potentially threatening UK manufacturing operations due to increased tariffs. Sunak believes that a new US-UK alliance would enable both nations to protect their supply chains and navigate a global economy increasingly influenced by new powers attempting to dominate the industries shaping the future.

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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