President Joe Biden travels to San Diego on Monday to announce Australia’s purchase of nuclear submarines to upgrade its fleet and help the United States counter China’s growing influence in Indo -Peaceful.
Before boarding Air Force 1, the president made brief remarks, hoping to reassure Americans that “American banking is safe” following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday.
Shortly after Biden’s departure, the New York Stock Exchange opened and trading was quickly halted for three banks: First Republic Bank, Western Alliance and PacWest after shares fell 75%.
Financial jitters continue to overshadow the international deal as Wall Street scrambles to figure out what’s triggering multiple bank failures across the United States. Stocks are swinging sharply on Monday as investors scramble to find a safe place to park their money.
President Joe Biden is leaving for San Diego, California to meet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to announce a nuclear submarine deal.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during morning trading on March 13, 2023 in New York City. Shortly after Biden left California, U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday amid concerns about the banking system following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and others.
San Diego is Biden’s first stop on a three-day trip to California and Nevada. He will discuss gun violence prevention in Monterey Park, Calif., and his plans to reduce prescription drug costs in Las Vegas.
The trip will include fundraising stops as Biden steps up his political activities ahead of an announcement expected next month that he will seek re-election in 2024.
Upon landing in San Diego, Biden will meet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – two of America’s closest allies – as part of the 18-month nuclear partnership known by the acronym AUKUS which stands for Australia, UK, US.
The consortium, announced in 2021, paved the way for Australia’s access to nuclear-powered submarines, which are stealthier and more capable than conventionally powered boats, as a counterbalance to the military’s buildup of China.
Ahead of the trilateral meeting, Sunak announced he would increase British military funding by 5 billion pounds ($6 billion) over the next two years in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Chinese aggression. .
The AUKUS partnership was announced in 2021, but Monday’s announcement will cement the details. Australia is buying up to five Virginia-class boats as part of the deal, according to the Associated Press.
China opposes the deal, arguing that it violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits the transfer of nuclear materials from a nuclear-weapon state to a non-nuclear-weapon state.
Australian officials counter that they are working to acquire nuclear-powered and non-nuclear-armed submarines.
Biden will also hold bilateral meetings with Albanese and Sunak in San Diego.
San Diego is home to the US Pacific Fleet.
Australia to buy up to five Virginia-class submarines – above Virginia-class USS North Dakota
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, left, talks to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the Lionfish seafood restaurant in San Diego on Sunday
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the British press traveling with him to San Diego
Stock markets were mixed in Asia after the US government announced its bank depositor protection plan, but losses worsened as trade headed west across Europe.
All three parties have worked to provide Australia with a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, given restrictions on technology transfers and classified nuclear processes.
On the way to the United States, Sunak said China “presents a historic challenge to us and to the world order.” It is a regime that is increasingly authoritarian at home and assertive abroad, and has a desire to reshape the world order.
But, he added, “you can’t ignore China” given the size of its economy.
“It is right to engage with China on issues where we can find common ground and make a difference, for example on climate change, global health, macroeconomic stability,” he said. declared.
“It’s the right approach while being very robust in defending our values and our interests.”
The secretly negotiated AUKUS deal included the Australian government’s cancellation of a $66 billion contract for a fleet of French-built conventional submarines, sparking a diplomatic row within the Western alliance. which took months to repair.
French President Emmanuel Macron withdrew his ambassador from Washington in September 2021, then met Biden in Italy during a G20 so the two could make amends.
Biden called Macron on Tuesday, but a reading of the call to the White House did not say whether the AUKUS deal had gone through.
The two leaders discussed China’s growing influence in the South Pacific, an issue that also worries Australia.