October 18, 2021

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President for An Economy that Works for People And Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age After the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Ministerial

16 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo

Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President for An Economy that Works for People

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

MODERATOR:  Members of the press, we have time for a couple of questions.

QUESTION:  (Off-mike.)

SECRETARY RAIMONDO:  That issue is outside of the scope of TTC, so it wasn’t on today’s agenda.

QUESTION:  (Inaudible) thing that came out of today?

MS VESTAGER:  Well, not only is it amazing to be here – the hospitality, the level of organization – even the flags are behaving well.  (Laughter.)  For me, one of the big takeaways is our discussions on artificial intelligence, that minds are meeting for artificial intelligence to be trustworthy, to be human-centered, and to have a risk-based approach which, of course, will leave so much AI untouched by regulation or invasion from a political side, but focus on the areas where something fundamental is at stake, whether it’s the risk of discrimination or things like that.

I think that’s a really important takeaway.  I hold that really dear because it’s so fundamental for our democracy that this is still working.  So it has been a really fruitful day.

MR DOMBROVSKIS:  Well, I also would like to thank our U.S. hosts for excellent organization of the event and for very productive discussions we’ve had throughout the day.  Indeed, we are strategic partners, we are allies, so as this Trade and Technology Council opens a new chapter of cooperation between EU and United States in the area of trade, we’ll be concentrating on the questions of export controls, investment screening, also cooperating on global trade challenges.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  And I would say the most positive thing of the day, besides the substance – and take a look at the statement that’ll be issued shortly, if it’s not already out – is just a remarkable spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and a desire between the United States and the European Union to work very, very closely together.  We represent two of the world’s largest economies.  Collectively we’re about 42, 43 percent of world GDP.  When we’re working together, we have a unique ability to help shape the norms, the standards, the rules that will govern the way technology is used, the technology that affects the lives of virtually all of our citizens.  We have an ability to set the pace, to set the standard.  And I think what we found today and the work that led up to today – because we’ve had working groups in 10 different areas working very hard on these issues for the past few months – I think we’re finding that we can make very, very practical progress on the issues that actually matter in the lives of our citizens.

So I come away from this feeling extremely both energized and enthusiastic about the possibilities of what we can do together between the United States and the European Union.

QUESTION:  (Inaudible) no mention of China, if I may.  And also no mention of the timing of the next meeting in the final statement where there was in the draft.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, on the next meetings, we will – I’m sure we’ll have an announcement on that in the coming days, moving forward.  We intend to meet on a regular basis.

QUESTION:  How do you expect the semi – today’s commitments on semiconductors to help with the global shortage, and what can we expect from TTC on semiconductors going forward?

SECRETARY RAIMONDO:  So the discussion of semiconductors occupied a great deal of our time today.  The U.S. and the EU are experiencing similar challenges in the semiconductor industry with respect to shortages, and we have agreed to move forward together to have greater transparency in the supply chains, collect data from industry so we can have greater transparency and trust in supply chains, and over time really look to collaborate as we increase supply on each of our shores and also collaborate as it relates to research and development for semiconductors.  We see this as an area of very fruitful collaboration given that our interests are aligned and our struggles are similar at the moment.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, everyone.  That’s all the time we have for today.  Thank you, everyone.

 

More from: Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President for An Economy that Works for People, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age

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