Thu. Oct 21st, 2021

Ahead of next Wednesday’s first ever EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), the Socialists and Democrats say it’s now time for the EU and US to develop a positive trade agenda together that can solve concrete issues and improve people’s daily lives. The meeting will focus on finding mid- and longer-term strategies to solve global shortages of semiconductor supplies, which have hit car producers particularly hard. The Socialists and Democrats are also pushing for a formal role for the European Parliament and the US Congress in the Trade and Tech Council to ensure their voices are heard and democratic scrutiny is applied.

Bernd Lange, S&D MEP responsible for EU-US trade relations and Chair of the European Parliament’s Trade Committee said:

“While our transatlantic relations have come under pressure the past few days, I’m pleased that that the inaugural meeting of the TTC will take place as planned. Of course we need to have an open and frank discussion among allies, but at the same time we should keep our focus on the positive transatlantic agenda we want to set out together. We need to get some concrete deliverables soon so that we can show our people that the transatlantic alliance delivers. In order to ensure this, we shouldn’t overload the Council and we should look for low-hanging fruit. What is also clear: the TTC is in no way the starting point of a comprehensive trade negotiation. It should be a positive platform to enhance the kind of trade and technology we want to see being used in the transatlantic sphere and potentially worldwide. It shouldn’t turn into an anti-China platform.”

Kathleen Van Brempt, S&D MEP and spokesperson for trade, said:

“The past few years have put a lot of pressure on the transatlantic partnership. The Trade and Tech Council is an important contribution to our positive agenda with the United States, aiming to build a strong transatlantic alliance based on trust and mutual respect. Transparency will be key in reaching these objectives. That’s why we urge the Commission to ensure the involvement of the Parliament in the upcoming talks with our transatlantic partner. Strengthening the dialogue between legislators from the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress could prove to be a strong platform for reshaping our future relationship with the United States. Therefore, we call for the creation of a sub-committee on Trade & Technology within the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue.”

Note to the editor:

The European Commission and the High Representative proposed in December 2020 to set up an EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in their joint communication “A new EU-US Agenda for global change”.

The establishment of the TTC was decided at the EU-US summit in June 2021. The first meeting was scheduled to bring together the Commission and the US administration on the 29 September 2021, but the Commission confirmed yesterday that the meeting will go ahead. To date, no formal role is planned for the European Parliament and the Congress.