The U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) held its third ministerial meeting on December 5 at the University of Maryland in College Park. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai co-chaired the meeting with European Commission Executive Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis to discuss progress and advance concrete action on transatlantic cooperation that demonstrate our approach to trade, technology, and innovation in line with democratic principles and universal human rights. As the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, the United States and the European Union are advancing projects that align with our shared values and promote a rules-based economic system.
In conjunction with the TTC, Ambassador Tai, EVP Dombrovskis, and U.S. Department of Labor Under Secretary Lee convened a meeting of the Trade and Labor Dialogue to hear from labor and business leaders about how trade can promote labor rights and create good-paying jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and globally. The U.S. and EU Co-Chairs welcomed virtually senior leaders from Kenya and Jamaica to launch new cooperation with both countries on digital connectivity and discuss how the United States and the EU can better engage third countries to promote secure digital infrastructure. They also engaged with U.S. and EU stakeholders to hear views on advancing the development of resilient supply chains and opportunities for cooperation on digital policy and technology standards.
Geostrategic challenges, including Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and increased assertiveness of autocratic regimes, have reinforced the importance of our shared democratic values, commitment to universal human rights, and leadership role in upholding an international rules-based order, including in the areas of trade, technology and innovation. The U.S. and the EU continue to coordinate efforts to address the spread of Russian information manipulation and interference, particularly in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and its impact on third countries, notably in Africa and Latin-America.
At this ministerial, the United States and the European Union launched a number of new, concrete initiatives that will deepen our cooperation bilaterally and in partnership with third countries, including:
Supporting Secure and Resilient Digital Connectivity in Third Countries:
• Launching new cooperation on inclusive information and communication technology and services (ICTS) projects in Jamaica and Kenya and in cooperation with their respective governments.
◦ In Jamaica, we will connect over 1,000 public schools and children’s homes to secure internet services, strengthen digital competencies of teachers, and support the use of digital technologies by all types of enterprises, and expand Wi-Fi infrastructure. We also intend to support secure and resilient rural broadband connectivity provided by trusted vendors in the country.
◦ In Kenya, we will expand school connectivity and provide technical assistance to help Kenya update its Information and Communications Act and 5G Strategy in line with the principles set for high-quality global infrastructure projects.
• Expanding coordination on financing digital infrastructure projects in third countries, including through a MOU between the U.S. Development Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank.
Cooperating on New and Emerging Technologies:
• Issuing a Joint Artificial Intelligence (AI) Roadmap which will inform our approaches to risk management and trustworthy AI.
• Working on a pilot project on privacy enhancing technologies and synthetic data in health and medicine.
• Publishing a joint study on the impact of AI on the workforce.
• Establishing an expert task force on quantum information science and technology to reduce barriers to research collaboration, and engage on standards, intellectual property, and export control-related issues.
• Developing joint recommendations for government-funded implementation of electro-mobility charging infrastructure to advance electric vehicle adoption in the United States and the European Union, as well as recommendations for future public demonstrations of Vehicle to Grid Integration pilots.
• Increasing standards cooperation on additive manufacturing, recycling of plastics, and digital identity, and launching new workstreams on post-quantum encryption and international cybersecurity standards.
• Rolling out the Strategic Standards Information mechanism to share information about international standardization activities and respond to common strategic issues.
Building Resilient Semiconductor Supply Chains
• Institutionalizing an early warning system to address and mitigate semiconductor supply chain disruptions.
• Exchanging information and methodologies, and developing a common understanding of market dynamics on our respective government support programs for semiconductors.
Promoting our Values Online
• Advancing the principles of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet – protection of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, a global internet, and inclusive and affordable access to the Internet – which are global in scope.
• Deepening cooperation between U.S.- and EU-funded emergency mechanisms in support of human rights defenders worldwide.
• Assessing with civil society and online platforms Russian information manipulation and interference in other third-country jurisdictions.
• Creating a multi-stakeholder group of technical experts who will document Internet shutdowns and their effects on society as rapidly and comprehensively as possible. The group also released its first report.
• Exchanging information on platform governance, namely European regulatory efforts and latest developments in the U.S. focusing on tech platform accountability and competition.
Enhancing Trade, Security, and Economic Prosperity
• Compiling and exchanging information on initiatives to use digital technology to simplify or reduce the cost of doing business with our governments and developing joint best practices on the use and promotion of compatible digital tools.
• Expanding the scope of certain Mutual Recognition Agreements and continuing to work on identifying other potential sectors and cross-sector initiatives in which strengthened cooperation on conformity assessment could enhance transatlantic trade.
• Launching a pilot exchange on how to simplify transatlantic trade with regard to exports and re-exports of dual-use items and technologies while ensuring appropriate protection against misuse.
• Exchanging information on the market situation of U.S. and EU medical devices companies in China to better understand and address the impact of China’s non-market policies and practices on U.S. and EU companies.
• Identifying and addressing economic coercion and exploring potential coordinated or joint efforts, bilaterally and with other likeminded partners.
Advancing Efforts to Support Trade-Related Environment, Labor, and Health Initiatives
• Launching a new Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade to identify actions in key areas of trade and environmental sustainability that support our shared goals of a green and sustainable future, and to increase transatlantic trade and investment.
• Working together intensively to facilitate the exchange of health information to support research, innovation, and advancements in public health with applicable legal requirements governing the protection of data.
• Establishing a new Talent for Growth Task Force that will bring together government and private sector leaders from business, labor, and organizations that provide training with the goal of catalyzing innovative skills policies.