Following the United Kingdom's decision to "Brexit," President Barack Obama assured the world of the United States' commitment to globalization before a crowd of international entrepreneurs gathered Friday in Silicon Valley.
The U.K. and the U.S.'s "shared values--including our commitment to democracy and pluralism and opportunity for all people in a globalized world--that will continue to unite all of us. And that is the work that brings us here today," said Obama, speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University.
Obama's remarks follow the United Kingdom voters' decision for their nation to part ways with the European Union, a move that had been widely criticized by economic experts and has already spooked panic into markets worldwide. Obama used his appearance at the summit as an opportunity to calm fears.
"I do think that yesterday's votes speak to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization. But while the U.K's relationship with the E.U. will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our two nations," Obama said. "That will endure."
Obama said he has already spoken with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron about the upcoming monumental shift for Europe. Among other expected changes, Cameron is set to leave his post following the U.K.'s transition out.
"David has been an outstanding friend and partner on the global stage, and based on our conversation, I'm confident that the U.K. is committed to an orderly transition out of the E.U.," Obama said. "We agreed that our economic and financial teams will remain in close contact as we stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability."
The U.K.'s Thursday decision to leave the E.U. was felt immediately Friday morning at the market open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 3 percent on the day while the Nasdaq composite index was down 4 percent.
With many of the U.K.'s "Leave" votes coming out of rural, working-class portions of England and Wales, many are already drawing comparisons to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The business mogul has drawn much of his support from similar individuals in the United States, many of whom have felt they've been given the short end of the globalization stick.
Those sentiments could've made Obama's speech on Friday--before entrepreneurs from all around the world, including a dozen from Cuba--an awkward one, but Obama chose to embrace the black, brown and foreign innovators.
"The world has shrunk. It is interconnected. All of you represent that interconnection. Many of you are catalyzing it and accelerating it. It promises to bring extraordinary benefits, but it also has challenges. And it also evokes concerns and fears," Obama said.
"I believe all of you represent all the upside of an interconnected world. All the optimism and the hope and the opportunity that interconnected world represents," Obama continued. "But it's also important in these discussions to find ways in which we are expanding and broadening the benefits of that interconnection to more and more people. And that is what so many of you are doing."