- February 23, 2022
- May 29, 2023
On September 29, 2021, the inaugural meeting of the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Council is not only a symbol of transatlantic relations restored after four difficult years but also aims to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the world’s two largest market economies and serve as a forum for building greater cooperation across the Atlantic on regulatory, technology, and market issues.
Indeed, closer transatlantic cooperation seems particularly important in the digital economy, where divergent approaches to digital taxes, privacy, competition policy, new technologies, and other issues challenge the transatlantic partnership. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed strategic vulnerabilities and dependencies on China in U.S. and European value chains – reinforcing the need for a democratic alliance to compete on global digital standards and supply chains. Publicly, the first meeting of the TTC was regarded as a successful start, circling out four major areas for cooperation: export controls, investment screening, supply chains, and artificial intelligence. While hopes are high, the upcoming sessions will be critical in determining whether the EU and the United States will in fact be able to find common ground on the central issues of the digital economy.
How do we secure the stability of global digital value chains and reduce dependencies? What could a transatlantic solution to data transfers look like? How can the EU and United States align their goals, measures, and speed when it comes to standards and regulations in the digital economy? Will both partners be able to form an alliance with respect to autocratic states and their aim to set global digital standards?
The Aspen Institute Germany discussed these and many more questions in an exclusive roundtable discussion with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai. In addition to Ambassador Tai, the participants consisted of a balanced mix of experts from think tanks and academia, as well as students with backgrounds in trade, business, and the digital economy.