American and European officials recently unveiled a technology alliance that would counter China on the global stage.
Politico reported that President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen released details of the initiative during a June 15 meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The outlet confirmed its report with two European Union officials and reviewed a draft of the proposal.
According to Politico:
As part of the so-called EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC), Washington and Brussels are expected to detail how they will work together to promote joint standards around emerging technologies, and to make commitments to better police the digital world now dominated by a few Silicon Valley tech giants. The alliance could tackle everything from the intricate tech supply chains — which often run through China — to making collective investments in digital projects. And it will be designed to work with other like-minded countries, including Australia and Japan, and at international bodies like the World Trade Organization.
During the 2020 elections in the United States, President Biden’s foreign policy platform emphasized the importance of countering China as they remain a rising threat to American interests: “To win the competition for the future against China or anyone else, we must sharpen our innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to counter abusive economic practices.”
In December, the European Commission — the executive branch of the European Union — recommended a “new EU-US agenda for global change” to the European Parliament. In addition to measures related to climate change and public health, the proposal calls for an initiative to parry China’s growing versatility in developing new technology.
“Europe and the United States account for about a third of the world’s trade and the standards we set reach every corner of the world,” says the document. “Our shared values of human dignity, individual rights and democratic principles make us natural partners to harness rapid technological change and face the challenges of rival systems of digital governance. This gives us an unprecedented window of opportunity to set a joint EU-US tech agenda.”
“Using our combined influence, a transatlantic technology space should form the backbone of a wider coalition of like-minded democracies with a shared vision on tech governance and a shared commitment to defend it,” the document continues. “A closer partnership in different geopolitical arenas will also be crucial to support democratic values around the world, as well as global and regional stability, prosperity, and conflict resolution.”
Specifically, the report names China as “a negotiating partner for cooperation, an economic competitor, and a systemic rival.”
“As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the US agree on the strategic challenge presented by China’s growing international assertiveness, even if we do not always agree on the best way to address this,” adds the proposal.
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