In December 2020, the European Commission proposed the creation of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), to facilitate trade, expand investment, develop compatible standards, boost innovation and strengthen the partners’ technological and industrial leadership. The TTC also aims to ‘lead values-based digital transformation’. Meanwhile, trade between the EU and US continues and is as important as ever, manifested in the fact that, together, they form the largest bilateral economic relationship in the world, with the largest global data flows across the Atlantic. However, in recent years, transatlantic trade and technology policy relations have been marked by low levels of cooperation and a number of sources of tension. The 2021 change of administration in Washington nevertheless reinvigorated the relationship between the two.
The TTC was formally launched during the EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021. High-level politicians will guide the Council, while the groundwork will be carried out in ten working groups, comprised of experts from both partners. They will cover issues such as common standards, resilient supply chains, tech regulation, global trade challenges, climate and green tech as well as investment screening and export controls.
The establishment of the TTC has been widely welcomed by stakeholders and the think-tank community as an important step towards bridging existing gaps and moving on with a forward looking agenda, focused on strategic areas and new ways of cooperation. While there is a genuine will to work together on common challenges, some difficult issues such as unresolved issues from the past and different approaches to regulating digital markets persist, and it remains to be seen whether the TTC will lead to the creation of an ambitious joint policy that influences trade and technology worldwide. The first meeting is due to take place on 29 September 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.EPRS_BRI(2021)698037_EN
To read the full report from the European Parliament, please click here.