Technology: Americans and Europeans want to strengthen cooperation against Russia

Russia’s war against Ukraine changes the rules of the game. By the second meeting of the Council for Trade and Technology, which will be held on Sunday and Monday in Saclay, Europeans and Americans should demonstrate a common desire for rapprochement.

Created in June 2021, this council met for the first time in September in Pittsburgh. It was almost canceled due to the US defense agreement with Australia for the supply of nuclear submarines, which put an end to an earlier agreement with France.

Not so today, when European Commission Executive Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis meet with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Catherine Tai to confirm continued warming of the transatlantic climate. relationships soured by Donald Trump’s commercial blows.

“The conflict in Ukraine has changed our relationship. The aftermath of the war has intensified the political urgency of the work begun from the beginning on the security of supply chains, for example,” we say in Bercy. In addition, thanks to this cooperation council, the US and the European Union were able to agree on export control measures put in place as part of the sanctions imposed against Russia.

Semiconductors on the table

In particular, we will talk about cooperation aimed at ensuring the supply of semiconductors for American and European industries. The visit of European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton will provide an opportunity to take stock of Intel’s €80 billion investment projects in the European Union.

The two sides intend to continue cooperation by setting up a system to notify each other of semiconductor shortages, as well as coordinating subsidies to chip makers to guard against a subsidy race between the two blocs.

Russian aggression in Ukraine should also motivate the launch of new work. “An initiative will be announced to strengthen the fight against disinformation and media manipulation by Russia, which is not limited to Ukraine, but extends to Africa and Latin America,” the European Commission spokesman said. At the same time, a project on privacy in the context of artificial intelligence (AI) will be launched.

Americans and Europeans also want to cooperate more in areas such as green goods procurement, carbon footprint calculations, green government procurement, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. “Exchanges are planned to harmonize the standard of outlets to supply these vehicles,” a spokesman for Bercy points out.

WTO negotiations

The fight against unfair commercial practices will have a voice. If China is not specifically singled out – “other countries are interested,” they say in Brussels – Washington and Brussels intend to promote respect for human rights and the fight against child labor. The United States and the European Union are also due to agree on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform weeks ahead of a June 12 meeting of WTO trade ministers in Geneva.

The council’s goal is not to revive a non-existent transatlantic partnership — the TTIP abandoned under the Trump administration — or to further cut tariffs or open up new markets. This is a forum for collaboration. It aims primarily at protecting compatible rules based on common democratic values.

A task that today is becoming increasingly easier in the face of confrontation between Western countries and a bloc of autocratic countries. “As recent events have shown, strong transatlantic ties and cooperation on issues related to trade, technology and security are more important than ever,” the draft final statement reads.