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A new platform of bilateral cooperation: the EU-US Trade and Technology Council

The change in the US Presidency following the 2020 elections opened a new phase in the political and trade relations with the EU. The EU and the US decided to cooperate more intensively on issues such as climate change, digital transition and non-market practices undermining competitiveness, in addition to the ongoing discussions on state subsidies and tariffs.


Approximately one month after the election, in December 2020 the EU and the US published a joint vision, “A new EU-US agenda for global change”. In this document the EU proposed to establish a new EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The aim will be to jointly maximise opportunities for market-driven transatlantic collaboration, strengthen our technological and industrial leadership and expand bilateral trade and investment. It will focus on reducing trade barriers, developing compatible standards and regulatory approaches for new technologies, ensuring critical supply chain security, deepening research collaboration and promoting innovation and fair competition. As part of this, there should be a new common focus on protecting critical technologies. We need closer cooperation on issues such as investment screening, Intellectual Property rights, forced transfers of technology, and export controls.

The EU-US summit of 15 June 2021 paved the way to the launch of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.  A new platform for bilateral cooperation was established to exchange views and best practices on how to deal with key societal issues such as the green & digital transition and the governance of the technological cyberspace, including preventing and responding to cyberattacks. This process is driven by common transatlantic values as there are evident political and security concerns when it comes to regulating the cyberspace and the new technologies.

Following the launch of the Trade and Technology Council, the EU and the U.S. announced the first meeting on 29 September 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Main goals of the Trade and Technology Council

  • Expand and deepen bilateral trade and investment

  • Avoid new technical barriers to trade

  • Cooperate on key policies on technology, digital issues and supply chains

  • Support collaborative research

  • Cooperate on the development of compatible and international standards

  • Facilitate cooperation on regulatory policy and enforcement

  • Promote innovation and leadership by EU and US firms

Political leadership

This new Trade and Technology Council will meet periodically at political level to steer the cooperation. It will be co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice-President and EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager; European Commission Executive Vice-President and EU Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis; US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken; US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo; and US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai.

Working groups

The Trade and Technology Council will organize its work in working groups which will operationalise the political decisions into deliverables, coordinate the technical work and report to the political level:

  • Technology standards cooperation (including AI and Internet of Things, among other emerging technologies)

  • Climate and green tech

  • Secure supply chains, including semiconductors

  • ICT security and competitiveness

  • Data governance and technology platforms

  • The misuse of technology threatening security and human rights

  • Export controls

  • Investment screening

  • Promoting SME access to and use of digital technologies

  • Global trade challenges

In parallel, the EU and the US have set up a Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue that will focus on developing common approaches and strengthening the cooperation on competition policy and enforcement in the tech sectors.

Source: CECE - Committee for European Construction Equipment