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US & EU Team Up On Tech To Counter Russia & China

 |  June 17, 2021

The US and EUn plan to cooperate more on technology regulation, industrial development, and bilateral trade following President Biden’s visit, in a bid to help Western allies better compete with China and Russia on developing and protecting critical and emerging technologies.

Central to the increased coordination will be a new high-level Trade and Technology Council (TTC) the two sides unveiled Tuesday, June 15. The aim of the TTC is to boost innovation and investment within and between the two allied economies, strengthen supply chains, and avert unnecessary obstacles to trade, among other tasks.

“You see the possibility for alignment,” said European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager in an interview.

In a sign of both sides’ aspirations for the council, it will be co-chaired on the US side by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. The EU side will be co-chaired the Ms. Vestager, the bloc’s top competition and digital-policy official, and fellow Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who handles trade.

As the EU’s top antitrust enforcer, Ms. Vestager has gained prominence for her cases against US tech giants including Apple, Google parent Alphabet, and Facebook. Former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump both said her policies unfairly targeted American companies.

Ms. Vestager has said her work doesn’t single out any nationality. The TTC, which is slated to hold its first meeting in the fall and oversee many working groups, will allow the EU and US to focus on cooperation, she said. Both sides stressed they would maintain regulatory autonomy within their respective legal systems.

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