Brussels (Brussels Morning) The EU and the US meet in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to discuss ways of strengthening their cooperation on tech regulation. France meanwhile is seeking to delay the talks in the continuing fallout over its scrapped submarine deal with Australia, according to RFI.
Under the recently signed AUKUS security pact, the US and the UK are to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines in a deal that led Australia to walk away from the 50 billion order for submarines that it had placed with France.
The EU and the US formed the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) earlier this year in an effort to find a common approach to the regulation of internet giants and protection of democratic values.
EU’s cooperation initiative
The EU described establishing the TTC as a concrete sign that the US is prepared to cooperate on the issue.
The US negotiating team will include US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
Heading the EU team will be Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis.
Vestager said the negotiations aim to improve cooperation “in the areas where there is a shared sense of values between two big, old democracies.” The Pittsburgh meeting, she noted, is to be followed by a round of talks in the spring.
Dombrovskis said the talks were not an attempt to strike a trade deal, while noting that previous efforts to strike an ambitious agreement during the Obama administration fell had through at the time.
The US has been urging Western partners to isolate China on the global stage, a move that has met resistance by Germany, whose main trade partner is China, as well as from France.
Former European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and analyst Chad Brown in a paper for the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote that EU officials “want to avoid the TTC simply becoming an unproductive exercise at China-bashing.”