2 min Editorial

Lobby groups call for increased US-EU cooperation on tech research

Lobby groups call for increased US-EU cooperation on tech research

Industry groups on both sides of the Atlantic call for closer regulatory alignment for emerging technologies and coordinated protection from China

American and European business lobby groups have urged the US and EU to support research collaboration on key emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors.

The call comes ahead of a high-level ministerial meeting of the US-EU Trade and Technology Council being held on 15 and 16 May. The TTC’s overall objective is to promote U.S. and EU competitiveness and prosperity and “the spread of democratic, market-oriented values” by increasing transatlantic trade and investment in products and services of emerging technology. The group also calls for “strengthening our technological and industrial leadership, boosting innovation, and protecting and promoting critical and emerging technologies and infrastructure.”

This week, Business Europe and the US Chamber of Commerce released a joint statement calling for the EU and US to support research collaboration in 6G wireless telecomms, AI, semiconductors and advanced manufacturing.

A call to action in the face of “economic headwinds”

“Just as we have seen unprecedented U.S.-EU coordination on export controls and sanctions vis-à-vis Russia, the TTC must facilitate similar coordination in other areas as well,” the statement reads. This includes on a range of “China-related concerns, diverging U.S. and EU digital policies, increasing digital protectionism, emerging and foundational technologies, supply chain security and resiliency.”

The TTC also wants “enhancement of plurilateral trading arrangements, a roadmap for addressing the WTO Appellate Body crisis as well as joint efforts to achieve successful outcomes at the upcoming WTO ministerial.” They also call for joint work to promote energy and food security.

“We also would like to see a stronger commitment to increase bilateral trade and investment,” they say. This could be, for example, through an agreement to further reduce industrial tariffs. “All these priorities have taken on greater importance considering the pandemic, Russia’s aggression, supply chain interruptions tied to Covid-19 outbreaks in China, and other economic headwinds,” they say.

Despite increasing its funding for AI research and innovation in recent years, with a goal of investing €20 billion per year in AI during this decade, spending in the EU still lags behind the US and China.

Also read: EU, US and 32 countries back decentralized internet.