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Rishi Sunak: UK, US must build alliance that ‘protects our economies’

Economic and defense cooperation "must be the two pillars of the UK-US alliance," British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was en route to the US on Tuesday, will say in Washington. 

"Pointing to the role our defense partnership has played in protecting our people for decades, the Prime Minister will say that extensive cooperation on economic issues will allow us to do the same thing for the next century," said a statement by the Prime Minister's Office.

During his visit, Sunak will meet President Joe Biden, congressional figures and US business leaders, while the two leaders are expected to step up work "to protect key industries and safeguard supply chains against threats, including from hostile states."

The statement said that US firms have committed more than £14 billion ($17.4 billion) of new investment in the UK, announced today, while the trade relationship between the two countries is worth £279 billion a year.

"The UK and US have always worked in lockstep to protect our people and uphold our way of life. As the challenges and threats we face change, we need to build an alliance that also protects our economies," Sunak said in the statement.

"Just as interoperability between our militaries has given us a battlefield advantage over our adversaries, greater economic interoperability will give us a crucial edge in the decades ahead," he added.

Meanwhile, the British premier said the UK and US have always worked in lockstep to protect their citizens.

"Now the UK and US need to build an alliance that also protects our economies. That’s my focus as I head to Washington, D.C.," he said on Twitter, sharing a photo of him with a journalist in the plane as it headed to the US.

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