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

Flags of the USA and the European Union are pictured during the visit of Vice President Mike Pence at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, February 20, 2017. REUTERS / Francois Lenoir

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union hope to discuss chip shortages, artificial intelligence (AI) and technology competition issues during the first session of the Trade and Tech Council (TTC) this week, senior US officials said -Government on Monday.

On Thursday it was Reuters report first the measures that the United States and the European Union will announce from the first TTC meeting, such as a more unified approach to limiting the growing market power of big tech.

Earlier this month, the White House announced that the council would meet for the first time in Pittsburgh on September 29th.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and EU Trade Director Valdis Dombrovskis will attend along with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

On Sunday the EU’s commercial and digital heads called the Council would give Europe more weight and set standards and rules for the 21st century.

“As an administration, we believe in strong, pro-competitive regulation. We think we have opportunities to work with the European Union, ”said one administrator.

The administration officials said the United States is discussing issues and recommendations with its European counterparts on the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act – European Union legislative proposals that provide a framework for regulating the technology sector.

Several tech trading groups in Washington said the industry doesn’t want the European approach to digital regulation to be adopted in the US.

“The risk is that the European side will push the United States to harmonize its regulations with the EU by taking a precautionary approach … which would impale America’s technology leaders,” said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation Tech think tank based in Washington.

“We shouldn’t and don’t have to do that. Our interests are broad and compatible, especially with regard to China,” said Atkinson.

The powerful US Chamber of Commerce said the TTC’s actions should “avoid policies and regulatory measures that target companies based in the other party – explicitly or implicitly – through laws or regulations”.

Mitigating a severe chip shortage that has harmed businesses including U.S. automakers will be a priority for the panel, officials said.

The development and implementation of AI that improves privacy will also be explored and a joint study will be conducted on how the technology is affecting world trade, they said.

A US government official also said US-EU discussions on steel and aluminum tariffs are going on a separate path from the TTC process, hopefully with guidance on how to proceed by the end of the year.

Reporting by Nandita Bose and David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie, Jonathan Oatis and Himani Sarkar

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