Thursday, October 21, 2021

EU backs US tech trade announcement after French concerns

EU diplomats said Brussels-EU governments are committed to a joint EU-US announcement on technology cooperation on Wednesday, which is in time for a crucial transatlantic meeting, unless France blocks it. threatened to do so, EU diplomats said.

Senior US and EU officials aim to discuss semiconductor shortages, artificial intelligence and technological competitiveness at the inaugural meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on Wednesday.

The TTC meeting was in doubt last week because of French anger over Australia’s decision to end a $40 billion submarine contract and opt for a deal with the United States and Britain to buy nuclear-powered ships. .

EU diplomats said France wanted to make reference to a second meeting in the spring of 2022 when French presidential elections would be held.

Diplomats said it also sought to soften language on the proposed semiconductor supply chain partnership, which the EU and the United States said were mutually dependent.

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After talks until late Tuesday, the second meeting was referenced and the semiconductor route was adjusted to highlight short-term, rather than long-term, supply dependence.

The revised text was approved on Wednesday at a meeting of EU ministers on EU market competitiveness.

Diplomats said the French reservations were related less to the submarine dispute and more to France’s strong belief in the autonomy of the European Union.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Catherine Tai will host European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrowski and Margrethe Vestager in a forum in Pittsburgh, also designed to set technical standards.

by Philip Blenkinso

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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