US Trade Representative Catherine Taye, left, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, second from left, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, third from left, meet with European Union Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, right, in Pittsburgh on September 29, 2021
US and European Union officials pledged on Wednesday to join forces to address a range of technical and commercial issues to secure semiconductor supplies and thwart China’s hegemony.
The inaugural meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) laid out a long list of tasks, but perhaps the most important outcome was the restoration of good relations after the damage inflicted by the administration of former President Donald Trump.
But the summit also focused on forced labor, artificial intelligence, digital privacy and online protection of human rights activists, as well as monitoring foreign investment in key sectors and monitoring the export of sensitive products.
The TTC emerged from President Joe Biden’s summit in Brussels in June, when he sought to repair relations damaged by Trump’s aggressive actions against rivals and trade allies, as well as recent gaffes that have roiled Brussels.
That discussion was looming over the tech meeting but it wasn’t on the agenda, though officials recently said they were close to a lasting solution.
– Semiconductor supply –
They have not announced specific measures, but have identified key areas that ten working groups need to focus on before the next meeting, which will likely be next spring in Europe, according to a European source.
Seeking to address the global shortage of critical computer chips, in their closing statement, officials pledged to work together to “rebalance global semiconductor supply chains to improve the security of both supply” and production, including the most advanced supply chains. fried potato.
Semiconductor manufacturers have sometimes had to temporarily close their factories due to Covid-19, which has left them struggling to meet global demand and undercut industries, including automakers.
– Contains China –
In addition to semiconductors, the two sides are struggling over how to work together to counter what they see as China’s unfair trade practices.
Ministers pledged to work together and through WTO reforms.
But it also highlighted the need to monitor investments in sensitive areas – which Washington did when it banned Huawei’s participation in America’s advanced 5G cellular network – and to control sensitive exports that could undermine national security.
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