The 4th ministerial meeting of the EU-USA Trade and Technology Council was held in Lulea, Sweden, the Presidency of the EU.
A joint press conference was held after the meeting, where US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager, EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and EU Commission member Thierry Breton came together.
Blinken said that they are addressing the most pressing issues facing the EU and the US in a cooperative and productive way, and they focus on creating sustainable, resilient and diversified supply chains.
Blinken explained that they will cooperate with the EU on critical minerals and investment in this field, and they will work together by sharing information.
“We are focused on reducing risk to the challenges posed by war and China”
Pointing out that the EU and the USA are united on the same point regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, export controls, and the challenges posed by China, Blinken said, “We are focusing on issues such as investment screening mechanisms and coordination of export controls, diversifying supply chains to combat some non-market practices we see. We are working,” he said.
Pointing out that they do not want to come face to face with China, Blinken said, “None of us wants a cold war. None of us is looking to cut the connection. We all benefit from trade and investment with China. We are focused on reducing risk.”
Intensive conversation on artificial intelligence
“We had a very intense and fruitful discussion on artificial intelligence today.” Blinken said that the EU-US Trade and Technology Council will have an important role in determining voluntary codes of conduct open to all like-minded countries on artificial intelligence.
“We will develop a draft AI code of conduct in the coming weeks,” said Vestager, Vice-President of the European Commission.
Using the phrase “We need responsible artificial intelligence,” Vestager reminded that artificial intelligence-supported chatbots are used in a wide variety of fields today.
Emphasis on improving cooperation
A joint statement was published at the end of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.
In the statement, it was stated that the EU and the USA agreed to develop cooperation on various issues such as new technologies, sustainable trade and economic security.
Pointing out that there will be cooperation and information exchange in order to identify and respond to the challenges affecting economic security in the face of the changing international environment, the statement said, “We confirm that the basis of our cooperation to strengthen our economic security stems from the international rules-based system.”
The statement highlighted the importance of working with other partners, including the G7, to diversify the supply chain, increase resilience to market-distorting policies and practices, and economic pressures.
In the statement, it was stated that the EU and the USA are determined to deepen their cooperation in technology fields including artificial intelligence, 6G, digital platforms and quantum computing, and it was noted that the opportunities that will arise in new technological fields will be evaluated together.
In the statement, it was stated that tackling the challenges posed by climate change is a shared priority, and decarbonisation efforts will be at the center of trade policy to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy.
Reminding that the EU and the US have started negotiations for a critical mineral agreement, the statement pointed out that they will cooperate to ensure that critical minerals mined or processed in the EU comply with the requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act in the clean vehicle tax credit in the US.
“The EU and the US reaffirm their commitment to a risk-based approach to this space to advance reliable and responsible AI technologies,” the statement said.
Reminding that the latest developments in artificial intelligence present opportunities and risks, the statement underlined that they will work on a roadmap together on this issue.
Reminding that the EU and the US have to establish durable semiconductor supply chains, it was stated in the statement that the parties completed a common early warning mechanism against semiconductor supply chain disruptions and a transparency mechanism for mutual information sharing on the public support provided to the semiconductor sector.
Cooperation on export controls will increase
Pointing out that the EU and the USA are determined to avoid a race in public support for semiconductors, the statement stated that trade policy has an important role in ensuring the transition to a net zero economy and that there will be cooperation in this field.
In the statement, it was noted that the EU and the USA will work together on the supply chains of critical minerals, metals and material inputs for green transformation and economic security.
In the statement, which stated that the EU and the USA will continue their cooperation in the field of export controls and investment screening in the changing geopolitical environment, it was underlined that non-market policies and practices and the difficulties arising from economic pressure will be addressed together.
The Trade and Technology Council, which was launched between the EU and the USA in 2021, aims to advance cooperation in these areas and to resolve the disagreements in a dialogue environment.