Competition, chips, AI on table at first U.S.-EU trade and tech meet

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Economy12 minutes ago (Sep 27, 2021 03:11PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. and European Union flags are pictured during the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

By Nandita Bose and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union hope to discuss chip shortages, artificial intelligence and tech competition issues during the first Trade and Tech Council meeting this week, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.

On Thursday, Reuters was first to report the actions the United States and the European Union are planning to announce from the first TTC meeting such as taking a more unified approach to limit the growing market power of Big Tech.

Earlier this month, the White House announced that the council would meet for the first time on Sept. 29 in Pittsburgh. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis are scheduled to attend along with European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.

On Sunday, EU’s trade and digital chiefs said the council would give Europe more clout and set standards and rules for the 21st century.

“We as an administration believe in strong pro-competition regulation… We do think as a piece of that we have opportunities to work together with the European Union,” an administration official said.

The administration officials said the United States is discussing with their European counterparts issues and recommendations they have around the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act – legislative proposals from the European Union that offer a framework for regulating the tech sector.

Mitigating a severe chips shortage that has hurt companies including U.S. automakers will be a priority for the panel, the officials said. Addressing near-term disruptions and discussing domestic investments to strengthen semiconductor manufacturing will be discussed, they said.

The development and implementation of artificial intelligence that enhances privacy protections will also be looked at and a joint study on how the technology impacts global trade will be undertaken, they said.

A U.S. official also said U.S.-EU discussions on steel and aluminum tariffs are proceeding on a separate track from the Trade and Technology Council process, hopefully with guidance on the path forward by the end of the year.

Competition, chips, AI on table at first U.S.-EU trade and tech meet

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