News story

PM holds talks with President Obama at start of US trip

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Top of the Prime Minister's agenda were his priorities for next month’s G8 summit and ending the conflict in Syria.

The Prime Minister has used talks with President Obama at the White House to discuss using this year’s G8 summit at Lough Erne to help spur strong and sustainable global economic growth.

David Cameron also spoke to the President about the potential to launch negotiations for an EU-US trade deal during the summit.

The pair gave a press conference following their talks, at which the Prime Minister said, “The relationship between Britain and the United States is a partnership without parallel”

President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron Hold a Press Conference

EU-US trade deal

Writing in the Wall St Journal, the PM explained that a free trade area between Europe and the US could add £10 billion to the British economy:

Trade is not a zero sum game where one nation’s success is another’s failure. Trade makes the cake bigger so everyone can benefit. Take the free trade area between Europe and the US on which we hope to launch negotiations when President Obama is in Northern Ireland for the G8 next month. This deal could add as much as £10 billion to the British economy and £63 billion to US GDP. But the rest of the world would benefit too, with gains that could generate €100 billion worldwide …

An EU-US deal is just one building block of a more dynamic world economy. If G8 countries complete all of their current trade deals and those in the pipeline, it could boost the income of the whole world by more than $1,000 billion.

Fairer taxes and greater transparency

The PM also wants action at the G8 to tackle tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance and to increase corporate and government transparency around the world:

I am meeting President Obama at the White House today to get America’s full support for this agenda. By promoting more trade, fairer taxes and greater transparency, Britain and America can once again lead the way in meeting the greatest challenge of our time: securing the growth and stability on which the prosperity of the whole world depends.

Syrian conflict and responding to terrorism

The PM and President Obama also discussed how to find a political solution in Syria.

Speaking at a joint press conference with President Obama, the Prime Minister announced that the UK would be providing an extra £30 million of humanitarian support for the victims of the Syria crisis.

The UK continues its work supporting the moderate opposition as a means of increasing pressure on the regime. David Cameron was keen to discuss how the UK and US can together help to establish a stronger and more credible opposition inside Syria.

The PM later visited FBI headquarters in Washington for a detailed briefing on their experience of responding to terrorist incidents. He asked for the meeting in the wake of the Boston bombings to establish if there were any lessons the UK could learn from the FBI’s handling of the attack.

After this, the PM flew to Boston for further talks about how US authorities responded to the Boston marathon attack. On Tuesday 14 May, the PM travels on to New York for meetings of the UN High Level Panel on development goals.