The EU and the US are increasing their collaboration on technology
The EU and the US are increasing their collaboration on technology. The second EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) meeting in Paris covered a wide range of topics, including semiconductor suppliers and AI policy.
The TTC was recently established ostensibly to address global trade and technology issues that both the EU and the US face, but with some more conventional foreign policy signaling – as evidenced by the caveat that these issues are addressed “in line with their shared commitment to democracy, freedom, and human rights.”
Some of the key outcomes of the meeting were informed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences in terms of trade and technology, such as commitments to help rebuild Ukraine’s economy and facilitate trade and investment, the establishment of a cooperation framework to counter Russia’s “information manipulation and interference,” and export controls on advanced technology such as aerospace and cyber-surveillance.
Establishing a constructive vision of the economy
“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has highlighted the critical importance of our economic and technological collaboration with the United States,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Digital Europe and co-chair of the TTC. “This collaboration goes beyond our wartime response. We can establish a constructive vision for our economies and democratic internet governance based on the dignity and integrity of individuals by working together with our transatlantic partners. The EU and the US are increasing their collaboration on technology. We can set the norms for tomorrow’s economy if we act together. We’re banding together, and when two such committed partners take the lead, the tides can turn.”
The disruption of global semiconductor chip supplies, which precedes the Russian invasion, has been one of the most damaging effects on output in both the EU and US economies. To combat this, the TCC has decided to create a ‘single early warning and monitoring framework,’ with the goal of increasing disruption preparation and avoiding subsidy races.
There was also talk of joint US-EU public financing of digital initiatives in third nations, which would imply subsidizing projects outside of either region’s boundaries, with the goal of fostering more resilient supply chains.
“Transatlantic coordination on supply chains and digital technologies is important to preserve our common interests and values,” said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market. The EU and the US are increasing their collaboration on technology. I am glad to see a common aim to increase supply chain resilience in other areas, from raw materials to semiconductors, after successfully working with the US on supply chain constraints for vaccine ingredients. The Paris conference is a critical opportunity for the Trade and Technology Council to turn the transatlantic discourse into action.”
Common roadmap of evaluation and measurement tools
The TCC also discussed creating a “common roadmap on evaluation and measurement tools for trustworthy AI and risk management,” according to the report. Should restrictions be put in place in the quest for ever more powerful artificial intelligence programs to ensure the technology develops in line with human best interests? This is something that’s been discussed on the edges of science and tech circles for a long time. We doubt anyone at the meeting mentioned Skynet specifically, but you can guarantee a few of them were thinking about it.
Because the TCC is backed by not one but two huge bureaucracies, I don’t anticipate anything concrete to emerge from it next week – but it does signal a strengthening of the EU-US relationship on critical trade and technology concerns. The EU and the US are increasing their collaboration on technology
When the supply chain crisis hit a year or two ago, there was much to get their heads together and attempt to solve, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both ideologically and in terms of the disruption to world trade it is aggravating, may have expedited closer collaboration.