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Trade and Technology Council
The TTC's fourth ministerial meeting on 30-31 May, 2023
Despite a difficult geopolitical environment, the transatlantic partnership demonstrates unwavering resilience and strength. The EU and the US should continue to cooperate on global challenges, reduce strategic dependencies and project their common values. The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is a unique platform for the transatlantic partners to shape the direction of the global economy around their shared values, strengthen relationships between officials and build common understandings. The TTC has already started to deliver through promising initiatives in artificial intelligence, connectivity projects in third countries, and a joint transatlantic response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday, 30 May and Wednesday, 31 May, leaders met to discuss important issues for transatlantic cooperation. Some of the milestones achieved included the promotion of a green transatlantic marketplace, announcements related to standardisation and the implementation of a roadmap to evaluate and measures artificial intelligence. While a lot of progress was made in the fourth ministerial, work remains to be done in the fields of transatlantic data transfers, critical raw materials and engagement with stakeholders across supply chains.
You can read more about our reactions to the fourth ministerial here.
- Use the TTC to define global standards on emerging technology, particularly for Artificial Intelligence (AI). They should do so by building on past initiatives, encouraging stakeholder involvement and ensuring that regulatory bodies are equipped to regulate AI.
- Strengthen cooperation in the semiconductor supply chain and align on tools such as standards, certifications, priority orders and export controls, in order to improve resilience, ensure fair investment and boost research, development and manufacturing.
- Align their approaches to digital tools by digitalising trade and customs clearance, building non-discriminatory frameworks and using digital exporting technologies.
- Accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies by avoiding discriminatory policies, building on previous achievements and cooperating on funding and standards.
- Increase responsible investments in critical raw materials by eliminating export duties on minerals used in battery productions, implementing international labour standards and developing joint extraction and processing ventures in strategic third countries.
- Promote policies that support a transition to more sustainable trade by coordinating on their carbon reduction initiatives, developing common definitions and aligning on green procurement.
- Harmonise their due diligence approaches and work to eradicate the use of forced labour in supply chains by establishing a multi-stakeholder task force and applying the lessons learned from previously successful initiatives.
- Continue to align the export controls of emerging technologies by avoiding duplication of export licensing, harmonising intangible software and technology transfers, facilitating cooperation with industry and clarifying definitions.
- Maintain an open approach to trade, defend the multilateral rules-based trading system and modernise the World Trade Organization.
- Develop a joint strategic approach to non-market economies by sharing best practices, involving the private sector, creating a coordination mechanism and applying an internationally accepted concept of ‘competitive neutrality’.
The TTC's third ministerial meeting on 5 December, 2022
The case for transatlantic cooperation has never been stronger in recent years. The dificult external environment – including the war in Ukraine, skyrocketing inflation, the compounded energy and food crisis as well as the disruption of global supply chains – requires strong alignment between the EU and the US. The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is a unique forum for the EU and the US to engage with each other, deepen their economic relationship and tackle global challenges. The TTC has already played an important role in enabling a decisive and united transatlantic response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In this context, the EU and the US met in the Washington DC area for the third ministerial meeting on Monday, 5 December. They outlined an ambitious list of deliverables in a range of areas, including artificial intelligence, standards, quantum, digital infrastructure and connectivity in third countries, semiconductor supply chain resilience, vaccines, skills and sustainable trade.
You can read about our reaction to the outcomes of the third ministerial here.
- Emerging technology standards: the EU and US should align their approaches on emerging technologies and strengthen their cooperation to set global standards. This includes the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, cybersecurity, 5G/6G, non-personal data transfers and advanced automotive standards.
- Clean technologies: transatlantic cooperation must accelerate the development of key technologies to decarbonise our economies. Leaders should also clarify how the TTC interacts with other initiatives, such as the EU-US Energy Council, the Green Technology Alliance or jthe Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium.
- Export controls: the TTC has played a key role in creating a united front against the war in Ukraine, in particular by establishing a joint apporach to export controls. This positive momentum should be used to further harmonise the transatlantic export control regimes.
- Semiconductors: the EU and US should strenghten cooperation in the chips supply chain to improve its resilience, ensure fair transatlantic investment and boost research and development as well as manufacturing. Both sides should clearly define the extent of tools such as certification, priority orders and export controls.
- Raw materials: to avoid uneven geographical concentration of rare earth elements, the EU and US should work towards increasing responsible investments for near-term rare earths and critical mineral projects.
- Multilateral trading system: cooperation is required to defend the multilateral rules-based trading system and modernise the WTO. The EU and US should develop a joint strategic approach to non-market economies that addresses the root of unfair trading practices, and continue to support strong and balanced intellectual property rights.
- Forced labour: Coordination of best practices to address the use of forced labour in supply chains should be another point of focus of the TTC, as well as at the EU-US Trade and Labour dialogue.
- Healthcare: the EU and US should continue to work together to bolster biopharmaceutical supply chains in preparation for future health challenges. This coopeartion includes expanding the scope of the EU-US Mutual Recognition Agreement on Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practice to vaccines, pre-approval inspections, plasma-derived and veterinary medicines.
Process also matters. AmCham EU calls for transatlantic leaders to:
- Foster transparency and stakeholder engagement: building a consistent system to collect input and engage with business and civil society will ensure the eectiveness of the TTC. Ensuring buy-in from all segments of society will be a key component of the success. Transparency efforts should also include more detailed reporting of the ongoing discussions.
- Outline roadmaps and clear deliverables: providing more clarity on the scope of the working groups’ activities is critical to enable stakeholders to provide constructive input and for the TTC to deliver concrete outcomes in a timely manner.
- Prioritise outcomes with concrete impact: while both short-term and long-term areas of work are important, delivering on a few concrete outcomes first will help demonstrate the relevance of the TTC for citizens and businesses of all sizes.
Our priorities from the second ministerial meeting on 15-16 May, 2022
The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is a unique forum for the EU and the US to tackle new and emerging issues arising from the transformation of our economies. Working together, transatlantic partners can ensure that global standards and governance reflect their shared values, including the defence of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Read more about our specific recommendations here.
Our priorities from the first ministerial meeting on 29 September, 2021
The Trade and Technology Council must serve as a sustainable mechanism for the EU and the US to engage with each other and build trust. With the establishment of the TTC, there is a forum in place to proactively address specific issues as soon as they arise. It can also be a platform for both sides to be more forward-looking and shape global standards according to their common values. Read our priorities for each of the working groups:
The big picture
The transatlantic economy matters
The transatlantic economy is the largest, most prosperous and most innovative commercial artery in the world – and it continues to grow.
The EU and the US have a key role to play as champions of multilateralism, upholding shared values such as democracy and the defence of human rights across the Atlantic. Transatlantic leadership is critical to finding common solutions to global challenges.
Outstanding issues to address
Now is certainly not the time for new trade tensions. The EU and the US have announced the creation of a new Task Force on the Inflation Reduction Act. This initiative should help create a better understanding and foster dialogue. Reducing trade barriers, strengthening the resilience of supply chains, supporting the multilateral trading system as well as cooperating in standard-setting bodies should be core priorities for the EU-US agenda, including the work of the TTC.