The United States and the European Union are meeting for the third time within the framework of the Trade and Technology Council

European and American officials met in the suburbs of Washington on December 5 for the third summit of the Council on Trade and Technology (CTC). The meeting, marked by the EU’s concerns about the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, did not produce significant results, but it was an opportunity to reiterate a common desire for cooperation and transparency in the digital sector.

The specter of a trade war around the IRA is dismissed

The CCT was established in June 2021 by the Old Continent and the New World to exchange and coordinate around core common principles in terms of trade, economy, technology and values. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Trade Representative Catherine Tai were able to speak with Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovkis at the University of Maryland campus near Washington.

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The transatlantic topic of the moment, the Inflationary Reduction Act (IRA), occupied much of the media space. This law, passed by the US Congress in August, provides $369 billion (€352 billion) in subsidies to support clean technologies in the United States.

A frightening event from Paris to Berlin, via Brussels. Rumors of a trade war circulated even before they were officially denied by European officials. Capitals fear market distortions and encourage companies to locate in the United States rather than Europe, where energy prices have exploded. This topic was discussed during Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to Washington from November 29 to December 2 and again during the CCT.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the EU ” reiterated its serious concern, especially regarding the discriminatory provisions and distortive subsidies of this law. “. The United States claims to have taken these criticisms into account and its ” obligation to respond constructively “.

European officials testify ” initial progress ” and Valdis Dombrovskis said to himself: relatively optimistic On the outcome of the negotiations, using a term used by Emmanuel Macron. Nevertheless, AFP adds that a member of the European delegation said that the EU’s ” we are waiting for a more concrete answer “. One day before the meeting, the President of the European Commission noted that the EU ” Respond to the IRA in an adequate and well-calibrated manner “.

Discussions should continue outside the framework of TTK. Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton did not attend the visit, precisely because ” The CCT agenda does not leave enough room to address the concerns of many European ministers and industrialists “.

The debate between the United States and the European Union covers a wide spectrum

The rest of the CCT’s agenda is indeed loaded, from the desire to launch an initiative in favor of sustainable trade to the declared desire ” Create a common repository of metrics to assess AI reliability and risk management techniques “. Between the two, there is a mix of wanting to create common standards around cooperation in electromobility charging infrastructures, quantum, digital identity, etc.

The two powers also touched on the topic of semiconductors. Like the IRA, the US also adopted a subsidy plan for the establishment of manufacturing facilities on its soil. Legislation on chips, the equivalent of which is being adopted on the European side. Representatives of both parties mutual exchange of information on state support to the sector “. Transparency should “prevent concerns about support programs,” concludes the MND joint press release.

For the fourth edition of the Trade and Technology Council, new topics such as 6G or post-quantum encryption should be added to the topics currently under discussion. This time it will be held in Europe, in mid-2023.

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