News & Commentary

Biden Administration Looks To Joint ‘Technology and Trade Council’ With EU To Counter China Aggression In Tech Space

The United States and the European Union are planning to create a joint technology and trade initiative in order to counter the rise of China’s influence on the global stage.

In the face of China’s massive investment in fields such as artificial intelligence, the Technology and Trade Council will “devise new standards for emerging technology, promote democratic values online and help the U.S. and EU collaborate on cutting-edge research.”

According to CNBC, the Council will have three “overarching” goals: “establish new global trade standards for emerging technology, promote democratic values online and find ways for the United States and the EU to collaborate on cutting-edge research and development.” Other “specific goals” of the council include coordinating “standards on new technology like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and biotechnology,” making “supply chains more resilient and less dependent on China,” the pursuit of “reforms at the World Trade Organization,” and coordinating the “regulation of tech platforms.”

The American side of the Council will be co-chaired by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Ambassador Katherine Tai, the U.S. trade representative.

At the U.S.-EU summit, the President and European Union leaders will focus on aligning our approaches to trade and technology so that democracies and not anyone else — not China or other autocracies — are writing the rules for trade and technology for the 21st century,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan last week during a White House press briefing.

“When President Biden returns to Washington next week, we believe that we will be in a materially stronger position to manage the major threats and challenges this country faces: COVID, climate, China, cyber, Russia, and shaping the rules of trade and technology for the future,” Sullivan added later.

During a press call on June 14, a senior administration official previewed the U.S.-EU summit.

“One of the most significant outcomes of this meeting and a very important initiative that will serve as a platform for U.S.-EU cooperation in the years ahead will be the launch of a Trade and Technology Council,” the official said. “The notion here is that the United States and Europe laid the foundation for the world economy after World War Two and now have to work together to write the rules of the road for the next generation, particularly in the areas of economics and emerging technologies.”

“The Trade and Technology Council will cover a number of significant areas of priority for both the United States and the European Union, from coordinating on standards for new technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology; to coordinating on supply chain resilience; to coordinating on import — or investment screening and export controls; to coordinating on how best to reform the WTO,” the official continued.

“The Trade and Technology Council is fundamentally about setting out an affirmative vision to the world rooted in our shared values and our shared economic interests,” they added later. “Of course, we also have to take account of the fact that China poses a significant challenge in both of these areas. And dealing with China’s nonmarket practices, its economic abuses, and, of course, its efforts to shape the rules of the road on technology for the 21st century will be important — an important part of the work of this council.”

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