The UK and US will begin negotiations on a joint critical minerals agreement.
At a press conference after their meeting at the White House on Thursday, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and president Joe Biden announced new measures in their Atlantic Declaration in broad areas of co-operation including economic, technological, commercial and trade.
The White House said negotiations would target an agreement covering cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese and nickel. Extracted or processed in the UK, they would count toward sourcing requirements for clean vehicles eligible for the Section 30D clean vehicle tax credit of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The UK government said there would be new opportunities for increased investment in each others’ economies. The agreement would help UK-based firms involved in the mining, recycling and refining of critical minerals and supplying US electric vehicle and battery manufacturers, it added.
Industry sources gave a cautious welcome but said the devil would be in the detail.
The UK’s Critical Minerals Association’s founder Jeff Townsend said his members would be happy with the declaration but he will be seeking more detail.
“The Critical Minerals Association is thrilled to see the US and UK spearheading such progressive and much-needed bilateral action on critical minerals. We look forward to reading its developments, particularly the imminent negotiations for a joint Critical Minerals Agreement, and seeing the fruit this great partnership will bear,” the association said in a statement.
Photo: president Joe Biden and prime minister Rishi Sunak hold a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. Wikimedia Commons