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EU Divided on Approach to Trade Talks with US

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The European Commission is in talks with the member states about the “best approach” to the (trade) relationship with the United States, a spokesperson said. The executive board of the European Union has not yet decided against participating in a trade summit in Pittsburgh next week.

 

According to EU sources, the commission, like the member states, is divided on the strategy to follow now that President Joe Biden has concluded a defence pact with Australia and the United Kingdom without consulting the EU.

Several countries would like to let the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) set up in June continue. EU ambassadors will meet on Friday to discuss the issue after the matter was removed from the agenda on Wednesday. France, in particular, is white-hot about the concluded AUSUK defence pact, which resulted in the EU country missing out on a multi-billion dollar contract for submarines.

The row between France and the US has since been calmed after a conversation between Biden and President Emmanuel Macron. But other events, such as the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, have also shocked the EU at America’s solitary behaviour.

The two economic trading powers had agreed with Biden at a summit in Brussels to strengthen trade and investment ties and negotiate new rules and standards. To this end, the TTC was established. The inaugural session is scheduled for September 29 in Pittsburgh. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Envoy Katherine Tai receive European Commission Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager (Competition Affairs) and Valdis Dombrovskis (Trade).

Ten working groups in the TTC deal with technological cooperation, the modernization of standards, the screening of foreign investments and export controls. According to insiders, the two economic superpowers have already reached several agreements in recent weeks and reached an agreement on standards for artificial intelligence. This would then be announced in Pittsburgh.

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