14 Jun 2021

EU-US Summit: from good friends to tech allies

Tomorrow, President Biden and the new US administration will meet with the EU institutions for an historic summit. DIGITALEUROPE urges leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to use this opportunity to launch a digital transatlantic collaboration based on open and secure data flows, alignment on the principles and regulations on emerging technologies, and a strong multilateral and rules-based dialogue on technology and trade.

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE, said:

“We welcome the rekindling of the EU-US partnership and renewed efforts to address the world’s most pressing challenges together.

The EU and US must drive a common human-centric and democratic development of emerging technologies. Technology will drive growth in key areas like health, environment, security, as well as creating jobs and prosperity.

A permanent forum for dialogue on tech issues would be the perfect place for the EU and the US to set a common agenda with digital at its core. Industry is the major technology innovator and we have an crucial role to play in the discussions. This is the world’s biggest trading relationship, and our businesses are highly dependent on one another.

We should prioritise several areas of action: data flows, privacy, digital and green innovation, cyber security, standards, regulation of emerging technologies like AI, and digital taxation and digital trade.

A strengthened transatlantic partnership can lead to global cooperation on tech, in forums such as the WTO, the G7 and the G20.”

Priorities for relaunching the transatlantic agenda

DIGITALEUROPE has set out its top priorities for a collaborative tech agenda aiming at establishing the EU and US as “tech allies” and setting the direction of the Trade and Technology Council.

  • Collaborate on regulatory frameworks, standards and export controls in emerging technologies. The EU and the US should work together to set truly global standards in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, allowing their industries to compete and innovate on a global scale. We also urge closer alignment to address issues such as competition and online content.
  • Launch a common digital trade and investment agenda for economic recovery. As the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, the EU and the US should remove barriers to digital trade and place digital investment at the core of their recovery strategies. We provide concrete guidance in our Digital investment plan.
  • Agree on a new framework for transatlantic data flows. A swift Privacy Shield agreement is critical to maintaining commercial transatlantic ties, as we showed in our cross-sector study. We encourage the EU and the US to continue negotiations to allow the free flow of data compatibly with data protection rules.
  • Join forces in support of the multilateral trade framework. The EU and the US should jointly commit to a strengthened and reformed WTO, which better responds to today’s challenges, such as Covid-19 and protectionism. The top priority should remain to set global rules on cross-border data flows. Other vital areas of collaboration should be e-commerce, the Information Technology Agreement, and the Trade and Climate proposal.
  • Cooperate towards an international solution for taxation of the digitalised economy. We urge that the EU and the US find meaningful ways to re engage in multilateral negotiations at the OECD to agree on a global framework for digital taxation.

DIGITALEUROPE’s High-Level Digital Industry Roundtable

Ahead of tomorrow’s EU-US Summit, DIGITALEUROPE is hosting a High-Level Digital Industry Roundtable between US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, and senior executives from the world’s leading digital and digitally-transforming companies, in collaboration with the US Mission to the EU.

The High-Level Roundtable will discuss plans for a transatlantic technology dialogue, regulatory cooperation, artificial intelligence and the data economy, data flows, content moderation, trade and supply chain issues, digital skills and inclusion, and the role of digital in the post-COVID recovery.

For more information, please contact:
Chris Ruff
Director for Political Outreach & Communications
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