The United States and the European Union are meeting for the third time in 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 meeting of the Council for Commerce and Technology (CTC). This meeting, in which the European Union’s concerns about the Inflation Reduction Act of the Biden administration were prominent, did not produce much results, but was an opportunity to reiterate a common desire for cooperation and transparency in the digital sector.
The specter of a trade war has been thrown around the IRA
The CCT was created in June 2021 by the Old Continent and the New World to exchange, communicate the main shared principles in terms of trade, economy, technology and values. On the campus of the University of Maryland, near Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai were able to speak with Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner of Trade Valdis Dombrovkis.
The transatlantic topic of the moment, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), occupied most of the media space. This law, passed by the US Congress in August, provides 369 billion dollars in subsidies (352 billion euros) to support clean technologies in the United States.
A terrifying proposal from Paris to Berlin, via Brussels. Rumors of a trade war still ran, before European officials formally ruled. Capitals fear market distortion, which encourages companies to locate in the United States, rather than in Europe where energy prices are exploding. 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 released after the meeting, the EU said it had ” reiterated its serious concerns in particular regarding the discrimination provisions of this law and the distortion of subsidies “. The United States says it considers these criticisms and emphasizes ” promise to respond constructively “.
European officials testify to ” initial development » and Valdis Dombrovskis said to himself « rather optimistic on the outcome of the negotiations, using the term used by Emmanuel Macron. However, AFP added that a member of the European delegation said the EU was in ” waiting for a stronger answer “. The day before the meeting, the President of the European Commission specified that the EU ” respond in an adequate and well-calibrated manner to the IRA “.
Discussions should continue, outside the framework of the TCC. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, did not take part in the trip, precisely because ” The CCT agenda does not leave enough space to address the concerns of many European ministers and industrialists “.
Discussions between the United States and the European Union cover a broad spectrum
The rest of the CCT agenda is really loaded, from the desire to launch an initiative in favor of sustainable trade, to the expressed desire to ” create a common repository of metrics to assess the reliability of AI and risk management methods “. Between the two, there is a mix of the desire to create common standards around electromobility charging infrastructures, cooperation in the field of quantum, digital identity, etc.
The two powers also touched on the subject of semiconductors. Like the IRA, the United States adopted a subsidy plan for the establishment of production plants on their soil. A chips Act, its equivalent is in the process of adoption on the European side. Representatives of both parties presented ” reciprocal sharing of information on public support provided to the sector “. Transparency should “avoid concerns about support programs”, completes the joint press release from the CCT.
For the fourth edition of the Council for Commerce and Technology, new topics should be added to those currently discussed, such as 6G or post-quantum encryption. It will be held this time in Europe, mid-2023.