Amid French Disappointment, America & European Union Ready to Deepen Relations in Technology Regulation

The United States and the European Union will this week embark on a complex effort to deepen ties on technology regulation, but France has rejected that effort amid its dispute with the United States over a submarine procurement agreement.

The high-level talks are due to begin in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday (29/9), despite efforts from France to postpone the meeting in retaliation for a pact between the United States, Britain and Australia – dubbed AUKUS – that saw Australia cancel the submarine contract. from France worth billions of dollars.

The US-EU Council on Trade and Technology (TTC), which was set up after a summit in June, is intended to examine the issues at hand, including trying to align strategies in regulating the internet giant and defending democratic values.

The council was formed at the request of Europe, which seeks concrete signs of increased trans-Atlantic cooperation after tensions over the past few years when the United States was under the Trump administration, particularly in the trade area.

At the meeting, President Joe Biden’s administration will be represented by Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, Special Envoy for Trade Katherine Tai and Trade Minister Gina Raimondo.

Meanwhile, on the European Union side, EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager will be represented, while Valdis Dombrovskis will lead the talks.

Vestager, a well-known expert on EU technology policy, said the talks would seek to enhance cooperation “in areas where there is a shared sense of value as two great and long-standing democracies.”

His remarks did not mention the rise of China at all, and this is understandable considering that America has pressured its European Union partners to isolate China on the global stage.

Associated Press reports on this in Europe, where powerful member states – such as France and Germany – are reluctant to blindly follow America’s calls for increased assertiveness.

“European officials don’t want the Council on Trade and Technology (TTC) to be an exercise in condemning an ineffective China,” former EU trade affairs chief Cecilia Malmstrom and analyst Chad Bown said in a review document for the Peterson Institute in Washington DC.

The talks in Pittsburgh, a city that has developed into a technology hub, were the first round of the Council on Commerce and Technology meeting. Vestager said the second round would take place next spring.

European Union diplomats said in a meeting on Friday (24/9), France strongly condemned the meeting and reminded EU member states that previously trying to forge deeper trade relations with America, it turned out to be to no avail. (em/pp)

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