25 Nov 2022

The EU-US Trade & Technology Council: Expectations are High for the 3rd Summit

A year since the creation of the TTC, the European Commission and US Administration leaders will gather in Washington on December 5 for the latest EU-US Tech and Trade summit. As the EU and the US gear up for a tough winter ahead and a looming economic recession, the stakes have never been higher. Expectations on the TTC to deliver concrete results are understandably rising.

DIGITALEUROPE’s Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl said:

The TTC has already been used to align approaches on AI, Chips investment, to drive cooperation on global standardisation and has now even begun to launch concrete, secure connectivity infrastructure projects in third countries. However, for the TTC not to turn into another TTIP, it must continue to deliver.

It’s no secret that this next TTC meeting will take place over the backdrop of a fractious moment for EU-US trade and tech relations. As the European quest for tech sovereignty and tensions over the US Inflation Reduction Act’s electric vehicle subsidies are simmering, there will be a herd of elephants in the room in Washington in December. Let us focus on the future and on what we can achieve together.  The EU and US are allies and should be the guardians of open market, peace, and democracy.

DIGITALEUROPE is calling the TTC to urgently deliver on 4 key priority areas in our latest publication, namely:

1) Transatlantic AI sandboxing: At EU level, sandboxing will be an integral part of the AI Act. DIGITALEUROPE has launched an industry initiative to test the proposed rules with SMEs and scale ups. This should serve as inspiration for a joint EU-US sandbox to encourage evidence-based policymaking by testing with businesses the common AI principles and the TTC’s tools for trustworthy AI.

2) Bolstering supply chain resilience: a common understanding of best tools to address chip shortages, development of investment incentives and set-up of a pilot alert system for supply chain issues are all great steps. These need to be followed by joint public-private R&D projects with industry on raw materials, chip design, manufacturing, assembly, and packaging.

3) Co-designing common standards for minimum digital skills: The TTC has a huge potential to pursue a promising collaboration to equip European and American citizens with basic digital skills. The digital skills gap is increasingly hindering economic growth in the EU and the US, with only one-third of working-age Americans being able to use basic online tools, and over 55% of EU companies experiencing difficulties in recruiting ICT specialists in 2019. We want the next generations to be creators of technology and handle some of the most burning common challenges, namely cyber threats.

4) Giving all key stakeholders a seat at the table: Separate dialogues boxes have been opened outside of the TTC framework for cybersecurity, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the ongoing energy crisis. This means that the impact of the TTC as a crucial avenue for discussion is dwindling and so is the effective involvement of key stakeholders, particularly industry.

The declaration on the future of the internet, which emerged ahead of the last ministerial meeting of the TTC and has been reaffirmed and expanded to new countries in November, shows us that a unified transatlantic approach can have a global reach. We remain committed to driving EU-US cooperation forward and making the transatlantic relationship a partnership of ‘Tech Allies’.

For more information, please contact:
Samia Fitouri
Senior Communications Manager
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