Rishi Sunak, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, has just completed a busy and productive trip to the United States, where he met with key allies and partners on a range of economic and financial issues. Sunak’s agenda included meetings with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and World Bank President David Malpass. He also participated in the G7 finance ministers’ meeting in Washington DC, where he discussed global tax reform, climate change, and COVID-19 recovery.
Sunak’s visit was aimed at strengthening the UK’s economic ties with the US and other major economies, as well as advancing the UK’s priorities for the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Sunak said he was “delighted” to have “constructive and positive” conversations with his counterparts, and that he was “confident” that they would work together to “build back better” from the pandemic and “create a greener and more prosperous future for all”.
Some of the highlights of Sunak’s visit were:
- He announced a landmark agreement with the US on taxing large multinational companies, which will ensure that they pay their fair share of tax in both countries and end a long-standing dispute over digital services taxes.
- He secured a commitment from the US to join the UK-led Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, which aims to align fiscal policies with the Paris Agreement goals and mobilize finance for climate action.
- He launched a new partnership with the US on green finance, which will support innovation and investment in sustainable finance products and services, and help mobilize private capital for green projects.
- He reaffirmed the UK’s support for a $650 billion allocation of Special Drawing Rights by the IMF, which will boost global liquidity and help low-income countries cope with the economic impact of COVID-19.
- He welcomed the progress made by the G7 on implementing a global minimum tax rate of at least 15%, which will create a more level playing field for businesses and prevent tax avoidance.
- He urged the G7 to increase their support for COVAX, the global initiative to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, and called for more debt relief for vulnerable countries.
Sunak’s visit demonstrated his leadership and vision on the global stage, as well as his commitment to working with international partners to tackle the most pressing challenges facing the world today. He said he was “proud” of what he had achieved during his trip, and that he looked forward to “continuing this important work” in the coming months.