Members' Research Service By / October 19, 2023

EU-US Trade and Technology Council: Political alignment yields results

Following Joe Biden’s election as US President, in December 2020 the European Commission proposed the establishment of a European Union (EU)-United States (US) Trade and Technology Council (TTC), Transatlantic relations had gone through difficult times during the Trump administration.

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Written by Marcin Szczepański.

The European Union-United States Trade and Technology Council (TTC), which has met twice a year since 2021, aims to revitalise transatlantic cooperation, boost bilateral trade and investment, and strengthen the parties’ technological and industrial leadership while preserving shared values. The bi-annual ministerial meetings steer cooperation within the TTC and guide its work on areas such as technology standards, secure supply chains, tech regulation, global trade challenges, climate and green technologies, investment screening and export controls. Observers agree that since Russia’s war on Ukraine, the forum has become more geopolitical and strategic in nature, reflecting the growing importance of working out a common position on challenges posed by a rapidly changing world.

The TTC’s first three meetings focused on launching the forum, setting its agenda, and establishing political alignment and convergence of views. The most recent meeting, held in May 2023 in Luleå, (Sweden), is considered by many to have been the most productive so far, with an increasing number of results either materialising or having their pathways established.

The main outcomes included work on emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, quantum tech, 6G); standardisation (e.g. the standards related to charging heavy-duty electric vehicles); the green transition (e.g. through the EU-US Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue and the Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade, and through work on critical minerals); trade (e.g. on mutual recognition agreements and conformity assessment initiatives); and economic security tools (investment screening, export controls and economic coercion). The TTC also launched projects supporting the roll-out of digital connectivity in Costa Rica and the Philippines, and measures protecting human rights defenders, promoting a safe online environment for youth and children as well as addressing foreign information manipulation and interference. While a majority of observers welcome the TTC’s shift more towards results, some argue that many of the above initiatives and projects are far from completion, and that the TTC should step up its green transition ambition.

Read the complete briefing on ‘EU-US Trade and Technology Council: Political alignment yields results‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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