EU Unites Behind Narrower Trade Objectives for U.S. Meeting
European Union countries agreed on a joint statement for its pivotal trade meeting with the U.S. scheduled for later Wednesday, with France successfully watering down aspects of it, including on semiconductors.
The draft was endorsed by all 27 member states just hours before the start of the meeting, according to officials familiar with the decision, who asked not to be identified because the procedure was private.
The conclusions for the Trade and Technology Council, seen by Bloomberg, aim to deliver guiding principles on screening investments, export controls, artificial intelligence and semiconductor supply chains. And while China isn’t mentioned by name, numerous issues appear to be directed at Beijing, such as a discussion on non-market policies that distort trade.
Following French demands, the scope of the semiconductor discussion was narrowed in the final version to focus on shorter term supply chain issues. The longer term implications have been delayed until a future meeting, the timing of which hasn’t been set -- another French request.
The meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, referred to as the TTC, will include participation by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai on the U.S. side. European Commission Vice Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager will be there for the EU.
“The dedicated track on semiconductor issues will initially focus on short-term supply chain issues,” according to the statement. “Cooperation on mid- and long-term strategic semiconductor issues will begin in the relevant TTC working groups ahead of the next TTC Meeting.”
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