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Insights from the US-EU Cooperation at the 6th Trade and Technology Council Meeting in Leuven

The bustling city of Leuven, Belgium, played host to the sixth ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on April 4th and 5th, 2024. This significant gathering was co-chaired by prominent figures including European Commission Executive Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Trade Representative Katherine Tai, alongside European Commissioner Thierry Breton. The event, convened under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, drew attention from stakeholders worldwide.

Among the attendees, Europe Analytica participated in a stakeholder event on April 4th, followed by a pivotal press conference on the 5th. Throughout both sessions, emphasis was placed on the vital role of dialogue in nurturing closer relationships and mitigating tensions, particularly in light of previous strains experienced during the Trump Presidency. The agenda was robust, covering an array of pressing issues, with a notable focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Of significant interest was the evolving stance of the United States regarding the EU's AI Act. Initially met with criticism, the US has now shifted towards a supportive position, expressing interest in collaborating further with the EU on standards setting and risk definitions. Secretary Raimondo introduced Elizabeth Kelly, head of the newly established US AI Safety Institute, signaling a commitment to addressing AI-related risks and opportunities through comprehensive research and guidelines.

Announcements during the meeting underscored the collaborative efforts between the EU and US in implementing the Joint Roadmap on Evaluation and Measurement Tools for Trustworthy AI and Risk Management. This initiative aims to harmonize emerging AI governance and regulatory frameworks, fostering interoperability and international standards. Following stakeholder consultations, AI experts from the TTC have further developed a list of key AI terms with mutually accepted joint definitions and published an updated version.

Beyond AI, discussions encompassed a wide spectrum of topics, including semiconductors, quantum computing, 6G technology, biotechnology cooperation, clean energy transition, sustainable trade, and investment screening. Notably, attention was dedicated to defending human rights and values in an evolving geopolitical digital landscape, with discourse centering on safeguarding information integrity, countering online manipulation, and ensuring digital infrastructure security.

The comprehensive exchange of ideas and commitments made during the TTC meeting signifies a step forward in transatlantic cooperation on crucial technological and economic fronts, laying the groundwork for future collaboration in an increasingly interconnected global landscape.

You can find more details on the content of these discussions here.


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