US, EU launch consultations on technology regulations, chips and trade with China

A security guard walks near the EU and US flags ahead of the EU-US summit in Brussels, Belgium on June 15, 2021. REUTERS / Yves Herman

PITTSBURGH / WASHINGTON, Sept.29 (Reuters) – U.S. and European Union trade and competition officials on Wednesday launched a new forum to join forces to better compete with China, protect sensitive technologies, increase l ‘semiconductor sourcing and coordinating regulation of large tech companies.

The US-EU Trade and Technology Council opened its first meeting at a former steel plant in southeast Pittsburgh that has been converted into a research and development center for artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and advanced manufacturing.

The main participants are US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo; US Trade Representative Katherine Tai; EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis; and European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. A joint statement is expected to be released on Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting was nearly derailed by French anger over a US decision this month to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, prompting Canberra to cancel a $ 40 billion submarine contract with France.

But EU governments backed a joint statement aimed at strengthening the semiconductor supply chains expected from the meeting, according to which the bloc and the United States share mutual short-term supply dependencies, although that a reference to a second TTC meeting in the first quarter of 2022 has been dropped. Read more


Reuters was the first to issue a draft statement on joint actions between the US and the EU, including taking a more unified approach to curb the growing market power of Big Techs.

As the United States and Europe try to restrain the growing power of American tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Amazon. com Inc (AMZN.O), such cooperation has become crucial for regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. It would also make it harder for the US tech industry to fight the new rules.

The council has 10 working groups and will discuss areas such as chip shortages, artificial intelligence (AI) and technological competition issues.

Several tech trade groups in Washington have said the industry does not want the European approach to digital regulation to be adopted in the United States.

“It is essential that US negotiators vigorously defend US economic interests within the TTC,” the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation said in a statement. declaration. “They shouldn’t obscure the real differences in privacy rules, AI regulation, antitrust regulation, digital taxation, content moderation and the like.”

Dombrovski told reporters on Tuesday that the US and EU share many goals for AI, such as limiting its use for surveillance and law enforcement purposes, but the TTC will help where both sides different.

“It provides us with a forum to discuss these issues, to see where we have common ground, where we have differences and how to approach those differences,” he said.

But senior US officials have said the consultations should not focus on resolving a long-standing dispute over US steel and aluminum tariffs, which US officials say is taking place over a period of time. separate lane from the TTC. Read more

Dombrovskis said the EU was ready to consider similar deals between Canada and Mexico that would lift US tariffs on their steel and aluminum exports to the US in 2019, but added that a agreement was to be concluded in early November.

Raimondo, whose agency applied U.S. tariffs on metals, said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss with European allies ways to curb China’s non-market behavior, including the dumping of steel under -Valued in the American and European markets.

Reporting by David Lawder in Pittsburgh, Nandita Bose in Washington; Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio

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