The Inaugural Meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) took place in Pittsburgh, USA on 29th September. It marked a “… joint commitment to expanding and deepening transatlantic trade and investment and to updating the rules for the 21st century economy”, stated the European Commission.
Among its objectives, the TTC is expected to explore ways to boost innovation and strengthen the partners’ technological leadership, and “lead values-based digital transformation”.
Demonstrating the importance of the TTC, the EU team in Pittsburgh was led by Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition, and Valdis Dombrovskis, the Commissioner for Trade. The US team was headed by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai, together with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In an Inaugural Joint Statement released afterwards, the partners stated “their strong desire to drive the digital transformation that spurs trade and investment”.
Semiconductor Supply Chains
Semiconductor supply chains were among the agenda items for the Inaugural Meeting. The EU and US reaffirmed a commitment to “… building a partnership on the rebalancing of global supply chains in semiconductors with a view to enhancing respective security of supply as well as their respective capacity to design and produce semiconductors, especially, but not limited to, those with leading-edge capabilities.”
In a dedicated Annex, the Statement further referred to strengthening domestic semiconductor ecosystems in research, design and manufacturing. There were also a number of remarks throughout the Statement related to issues of subsidies and private and foreign investment.
Technology Focus in Working Groups
Looking ahead, the future work of the TTC will be conducted within ten working groups, many of which have relevance to the ECS industry. Specifically, the groups will focus on: Technology standards; Climate and clean technology; Secure supply chains; ICTS security and competitiveness; Data governance and technology platforms; the Misuse of technology threatening security and human rights; Export controls; Investment screening; Promoting small and medium enterprises access to, and use of, digital tools; Global trade challenges.
Optimism for the Future
The outcomes of the Inaugural Meeting were greeted positively by the European Commission. Margrethe Vestager tweeted: “Very happy with today’s exchange and joint statement with our transatlantic partners. Makes me hopeful for the future and our democracies.”
Valdis Dombrovskis commented: “The first EU-US Trade and Technology Council marks a fresh chapter in our transatlantic relations. We are committed to cooperating on global trade and technology based on shared democratic values.”
Read the full Inaugural and Pittsburgh Statement, including Annexes here: