EU says Trade and Tech alliance with US will have effect on China

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In a statement highlighting concerns about China’s growing power, the EU’s trade and digital chiefs said the US-EU Trade and Technology (TTC) council will give Europe more leverage and set the standards and guidelines for the 21st century.

The comments came from Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrowski ahead of the first TTC meeting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The two powers will discuss how to interact with China in many areas that range from human rights to technology. Dombrowski said that the council is needed to amplify the US and EU’s status, due to its strategic and geopolitical importance to the new platform.

A far-reaching focus

Dombrowski added that the platform was not targeted at any specific country. TTC, he said, is not about any specific third country, but about cooperation and coordination on particular types of policy between the EU and US.

The council’s ten working groups are tasked to pay attention to green technology, data governance, technology standards, supply-chain security, global trade issues, investment screening, export control, and more.

All these are areas the EU needs to unlock more potential, according to Vestager.

About France’s fury over submarines

Vestager spoke to reporters saying that what the council achieved is a package that covers both offensive and defensive interests. Dombrowski added that France’s fury towards Australia scrapping a $40 billion submarine deal and opting for US and British technology should not deflect the bloc from its long-term goals.

He said, “we are allies, partners, and friends,” adding that even though friends make mistakes from time to time, like in recent weeks, it should not “cloud our judgment” on the strategic alliance all these countries form.

Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State), Gina Raimondo (Commerce Secretary), and Katherine Tai (Trade Representative) will co-chair the meeting with Vestager and Dombrowski.