Trump, May to Meet at White House, Trade to be Key Topic
British Prime Minister Theresa May meets with U.S. President Donald Trump Friday at the White House, where the two world leaders will hold a joint news conference.
She will be the first foreign leader to meet with Trump in Washington since he took office.
Both leaders have taken steps to reform their international relations, particularly through trade. Britain’s pending exit from the European Union and Trump’s withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership will necessitate negotiating new trade agreements throughout the world.
May’s plan for the EU exit includes placing a priority on controlling immigration, although she has not yet announced any policy details.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump has not yet decided whether he will cut funding to international organizations, like the United Nations, after media reports suggested the president was looking to reduce the role of the U.S. within those organizations.
On Thursday, May spoke to a gathering of U.S. Republican leaders in Philadelphia where she said the days of the U.S. and Britain intervening in other nations to remake them in their image are over.
May said it is in British and American interests to defend their values, but not go back to what she called the “failed policies of the past.”
Watch: Britain’s May Discusses US, UK ‘Special Relationship’
“But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene. We must be strong, smart and hard-headed.”
May also called for reform in such multinational institutions as the U.N. and NATO “to make them more relevant and purposeful.” She said their members have to stop leaning on the United States.
“Sovereign countries cannot outsource their security and prosperity to America. And they should not undermine the alliances that keep us strong by failing to step up and play their part.”
May said a Trump presidency can make the U.S. “stronger, greater and more confident,” which she said is good for the rest of the world. She said British and American conservatives share the same principles.
Trump was greeted by a number of protesters when he arrived in Philadelphia. He later told fellow Republicans it was “nice to win” the state of Pennsylvania (in the November election), which has traditionally gone to the Democrats.
He went on to reference a number of his most prominent policy aspirations, including his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, and investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 election.
“We are going to protect the integrity of the ballot box and we are going to defend the votes of the American citizen. So important,” he said.
The congressional Republicans are meeting for a three-day retreat at which they will plan their legislative agenda for the coming years when they will control both houses of Congress and the White House.