The Atlantic Declaration is an action plan signed between the US and the UK to bolster cooperation in various areas including economy, technology, energy, and defense.
It is the latest and crucial agreement where the two countries declare their shared values, goals, and vision, following the Atlantic Charter of 1941 that outlined the objectives of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The Atlantic Declaration came after the New Atlantic Charter, which was signed in 2021 and emphasized the need for the Anglo-Saxon world to play a role as a global game-changer.
The Atlantic Declaration highlighted that the US and UK have established a partnership model that is “the first of its kind that has never been tried before” and has initiated a new era globally. It is a symbol of the renewed partnership between the UK and the US after Brexit.
However, the agreement falls far short of the ambitious free trade agreement that London has been trying to persuade Washington, D.C. to sign as a way to compensate for the impact of withdrawing from the EU, especially for the Conservative Party.
There are serious warnings that many of the issues raised in the declaration are merely statements of intent rather than concrete agreements.
The US-UK bilateral investment ties currently are the world’s largest trade partnership, supporting over 2.7 million jobs and exceeding $1.5 trillion in value in both countries. The Atlantic Declaration is an outcome of efforts by both governments to intend to establish the strongest investment relationship in world history. It includes commitments that will not only impact large businesses but also affect medium and even small-size enterprises, such as streamlining trade procedures, enhancing defense industry ties, and endorsing data protection cooperation.
What would the impacts of the Atlantic Declaration be on global security?
The impacts of the Atlantic Declaration on global security can be viewed as a step that may bolster the claims that the US is losing its hegemony in the world order. In the discussions on the new world order, the US is attempting to consolidate its pole position in asymmetric multipolarity and the Atlantic Declaration indicates that the security visions of both countries also take into account new conventional threats. They believe that this will enable them to stay at the forefront of rapidly changing world politics.
In addition to conventional threats such as the defense of European territories and with the same values such as democracy and freedom, the Atlantic Declaration commits to strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries on biological security.
It aims to strengthen the US-UK alliance in economic security and increase trade in areas such as defense, nuclear materials, and critical minerals used in electric vehicle batteries.
Furthermore, Washington, D.C. and London have decided to work together to establish resilient, diversified, and secure supply chains and reduce strategic dependencies. They agreed to reduce dependence on Russian energy, which is a significant trade dependency, and support green energy cooperation, as well as build a new civil nuclear partnership.
Furthermore, it is important for the parties to prevent their companies’ capital and expertise from fueling technological advancements that would enhance the military and intelligence capabilities of rivals.
What is the importance of the new technologies and artificial intelligence for this agreement?
In discussions on the new world order, as the US seeks to consolidate its pole position, its strategy of adapting to new developments includes not only neutralizing threats but also the ability to influence these developments. So, its capacity to lead technological advancements, especially in strategic fields, requires a more proactive role during this time when competition is gaining momentum in favor of rivals.
The US and UK have agreed to enhance the closest coordination for the development of emerging technologies that work in favor of Western democracy and all forms of security, under the leadership of the two sides.
It was repeatedly emphasized in bilateral discussions that both countries host world-leading companies and academic institutions in areas such as semiconductors, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, 5G, 6G, telecommunications, and synthetic biology.
Particularly, with this agreement, the UK has taken the responsibility to lead a common approach to artificial intelligence security and regulation. This is due to the UK’s increasing expertise in the field of artificial intelligence and its regulatory initiatives aimed at ensuring responsible development and use of this technology.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has consistently expressed the desire to make the UK a leader in artificial intelligence. Sunak emphasized that the UK continues to be an attractive investment destination and that it will now be able to act faster and more flexibly to establish new regulations for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. According to him, no country can achieve the necessary paradigm shifts alone. US President Joe Biden welcomed the UK’s leadership in this topic, adding that the focus of the Atlantic Declaration on investing in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence will assist both countries adapt to changes in the global economy.
This article has been published by Anadolu Agency on June 15, 2023.