The European Union and the United States are partners strongly committed to driving digital transformation and cooperating on new technologies based on their shared democratic values, including respect for human rights.
The EU-US Trade and Technology Council serves as a forum for the United States and European Union to coordinate approaches to key global trade, economic, and technology issues and to deepen transatlantic trade and economic relations based on these shared values. It was established during the EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021 in Brussels.
Objectives of the partnership
Through the Council, the EU and the US are working together to:
- ensure that trade and technology serve our societies and economies, while upholding our common values
- strengthen our technological and industrial leadership
- expand bilateral trade and investment
Third Ministerial Meeting (5 December 2022)
The EU and the US met in College Park, Maryland on 5 December 2022 for the third ministerial-level meeting of the Council. They agreed on:
1. Digital Infrastructure and connectivity
The EU and the US will:
- facilitate projects that strengthen the resilience of infrastructures such as strategic overland and subsea cables
- connect over one thousand public schools and children’s homes in Jamaica to the internet
- expand internet access for schools in Kenya and bridge gaps in last-mile connectivity
2. Cooperation on emerging technologies
The EU and the US agreed on a joint roadmap to develop common tools and standards for trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI). Both parties will work on:
- joint standards in critical areas such as post-quantum encryption and cybersecurity of the Internet of Things
- quantum research and development
To advance the uptake of electric vehicles, the US and the EU will prepare a common international standard on megawatt charging systems for heavy-duty vehicles to be adopted by 2024. The EU and the US also intend to develop in 2023 recommendations for public electro-mobility charging infrastructure.
3. Building resilient semiconductor supply chains
The EU and the US are launching:
- an early warning mechanism to address and mitigate semiconductor supply chain disruptions cooperatively
- a transparency mechanism to share information on respective public support programmes
4. Promoting values worldwide and reaching out to partners
The EU and US will:
- promote their values worldwide via an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet, as reflected in the Declaration for the Future of the internet signed by more than 60 partners
- seek to eliminate the use of arbitrary and unlawful surveillance that targets human rights defenders
- cooperate on pooling of digital resources such as AI models and computing power, and make them available to partner countries to address challenges in areas such as climate change and extreme weather, healthcare or smart agriculture.
5. Stepping up transatlantic work toward sustainable trade
The EU and the US agreed to launch the Transatlantic initiative on Sustainable Trade. This initiative will enhance work across the TTC that strives to support the transition to low-carbon economies and to increase green trade and investment. Both sides intend to explore areas of cooperation where there is opportunity to decarbonise our energy intensive industries and facilitate the deployment of goods and services essential to the transition to more circular, and net-zero economies.
6. Enhancing security though export controls and investment screening
The EU and the US agreed to:
- further cooperate on export controls on advanced technologies against Russia, particularly with respect to information sharing
- explore policy tools which could be used to address non-market economic policies and practices, as well as explore possibilities for joint efforts to address economic coercion.
Discussions continue on investment screening, with a focus on security risks posed by certain investments in sensitive technologies.
7. Further growing transatlantic trade
Ministers agreed to help grow transatlantic trade further by giving new impetus to:
- extend the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Marine Equipment
- expand the MRA on pharmaceuticals (vaccines)
Ministers supported the efforts on conformity assessment, starting with discussions on the machinery sector.
The EU and the US will also:
- explore using digitalisation to ease transatlantic trade. Ministers supported the idea of digitalising existing MRAs, increasing their attractiveness.
- engage in a pilot project on digital tools initiatives that help to decrease trade-related red tape
8. Nurturing talent for the digital transition
The EU and the US intend to launch a Talent for Growth Task Force that will bring together government and private sector leaders to exchange best practices, and to serve as a catalyst for innovative skills policies.
Areas of cooperation
At its inaugural meeting on 29 September 2021 in Pittsburgh, USA, the Council agreed on five key areas of cooperation:
- Export controls
- Foreign direct investment screening
- Secure supply chains (especially regarding semiconductors)
- Technology standards, including cooperation on Artificial Intelligence
- Global trade challenges
Ways of working
The Council is comprised of working groups led or co-led by relevant departments, services or agencies, to operationalise the political decisions and coordinate the technical work.
The Council has initially included ten working groups:
|1. Technology standards cooperation|
|2. Climate and clean tech|
|3. Secure supply chains|
|4. ICTs security and competitiveness|
|5. Data governance and technology platform|
|6. Misuse of technology threatening security & human rights|
|7. Export controls cooperation|
|8. Investment screening cooperation|
|9. Promoting SME access to and use of digital technologies|
|10. Global trade challenges|
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden launched the EU-US Trade and Technology Council at the EU-US Summit in Brussels on June 15, 2021.
The Council meets periodically at political level to steer the cooperation, co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice-President and EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, and European Commission Executive Vice-President and EU Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, on the EU side; and US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, and US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, on the US side.
In parallel, the EU and the US have set up a Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue that will focus on developing common approaches and strengthening the cooperation on competition policy and enforcement in the tech sectors.
Next meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council
- 5 December 2022
Third ministerial-level meeting takes place in College Park, Maryland (USA)
- 15-16 May 2022
Second ministerial-level meeting takes place in Paris
- 18 October 2021
Commission launches consultation platform for stakeholder's involvement to shape transatlantic cooperation
- 29 September 2021
Inaugural ministerial-level meeting is held in Pittsburgh, USA
- 15 June 2021
The Council is set up at the EU-US Summit in Brussels