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Advancing Transatlantic Leadership

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The sixth ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (“TTC”) took place in Leuven, Belgium, on 4 and 5 April 2024. It was co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, joined by European Commissioner Thierry Breton, and hosted by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of significant geopolitical developments and challenges, including Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine and the escalation of violence in the Middle East, that have shaken the international rules-based order to which we are jointly committed. The European Union and the United States remain unwavering in our long-term political, financial, humanitarian, and military support to Ukraine.

There has been a buildup of global economic pressure through extensive non-market policies and practices. This accentuates excessive and possibly high-risk dependencies of strategic supplies, tilts the level playing field, and poses a threat to our economic security, our prosperity, and the well-being of our firms, workers, and citizens.

The acceleration of the digital transformation creates unprecedented opportunities for growth and innovation but also raises numerous risks and challenges that call for accelerating our efforts to establish joint leadership and continue robust coordination on our approaches for creating rules of the road for emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technologies, and 6G wireless communication systems. We aim to foster interoperability and support our common democratic values and the protection of human rights, while also promoting innovation. We are also dedicated to continuing to equip our workforce with the skills necessary to meet the needs created by rapidly changing technology, including AI.

The cooperation between the European Union and the United States continues to be the bedrock for dealing with such global challenges, and the TTC has played a vital role in shaping a forward-looking dialogue and facilitating unprecedented coordination and quick responses to key trade and technology related issues and developments, not least in the context of Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine. We therefore reaffirm the importance of the TTC and will continue to refine and adapt this forum to advance our shared objectives.

We have used the TTC to address global trade challenges, strengthen our economic and trade ties, accelerate the transition to climate-neutral economies, and boost our economic security. With the Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade (TIST), the TTC is contributing to the creation of a stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient transatlantic marketplace and facilitating environmentally responsible trade in goods and technologies.

We have increased cooperation on interoperability of digital trade tools as well as standardisation of critical and emerging technologies to reduce the costs of trading across the Atlantic. To boost our economic security, we continue to cooperate through the TTC to diversify strategic supply chains, including solar panels, semiconductors, and critical raw materials, and to reduce vulnerabilities, including those caused by other countries’ non-market policies and practices. We have also deepened our dialogue and cooperation on export controls and investment screening.

Working with stakeholders, we continue to use the TTC to advance the governance of critical and emerging technologies, such as AI, quantum technologies, semiconductors, biotechnology, and online platforms, including by supporting the development of rights-respecting international technical standards, codes of conduct, principles, and guidance. In particular, we call upon online platforms to ensure their services contribute to an environment that protects, empowers, and respects their users and the general public. We are working together to advance public interest research on online platforms, including to address particular societal risks, such as technology-facilitated gender-based violence. We will continue to combat foreign information manipulation and interference and to protect human rights defenders online, including in the context of elections.

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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