The EU is divided on the approach to trade negotiations with the US.

Photo: ANP

The European Commission is in talks with member states about the “best approach” for the (trade) relationship with the United States, a spokesman said. The European Union’s executive board has yet to make a decision on its participation in a trade summit in Pittsburgh next week. According to EU sources, the commission, like member states, is divided on the strategy to follow now that President Joe Biden has concluded a defense pact with Australia and the United Kingdom without consulting the EU.

Several countries, including the Netherlands, would like the opening session of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) established in June to continue. EU ambassadors will meet on Friday to discuss the issue, after the issue was removed from the agenda on Wednesday. France, in particular, is red-hot about the concluded AUSUK defense pact, which resulted in the EU country missing out on a multi-million dollar contract for submarines. The dispute between France and the United States has since subsided, 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 the lonely behavior of the United States.

The two economic trading powers 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 welcome the Vice-Presidents of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager (Competition Affairs) and Valdis Dombrovskis (Commerce).

There are ten working groups in the TTC that deal with topics such as technological cooperation, modernization of standards, screening of foreign investment, and export controls. According to internal sources, the two economic superpowers have already reached several agreements in recent weeks and reached an agreement on standards for artificial intelligence. This would later be announced in Pittsburgh.

Vince Fernandez

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