June 24, 2021
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo Joins President Biden at U.S.-EU Summit and Advances Tech and Trade Issues with European Union and Private Sector Leaders
On June 14-16, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo joined President Biden, Secretary Blinken, Ambassador Tai and European Union (EU) leaders at the U.S.-EU Summit in Brussels. The U.S.-EU Summit presented an opportunity to rebuild and strengthen U.S.-EU ties and set a joint transatlantic agenda for the post-pandemic era. This includes fighting and ending the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, committing to a green and sustainable global economy, coordinating on our shared challenges including China’s coercive economic practices and ensuring our global supply chains are free of forced labor from Xinjiang and around the world, and working together to strengthen our tech and trade cooperation to ensure openness, fair competition, transparency, and accountability.
As the world’s largest bilateral trading relationship, U.S.-EU trade—both in goods and services—is a critical driver of job growth, innovation and entrepreneurship across both economies. The post-COVID-19 economic recovery will create unique opportunities for U.S. and European companies, particularly SMEs, to expand their collaboration, and for both the U.S. and EU to cooperate on the digital economy. Harnessing the full value of the digital economy will accelerate the path toward economic recovery and expand transatlantic commerce in new technologies and digital services.
As U.S. Commerce Secretary, Secretary Raimondo was particularly focused on how the U.S. and EU can work together to write the rules of the road for the 21st century economy based on shared democratic values. This included expanding and deepening trade and investment ties, aligning key policies on technology and standards, and driving a digital transformation that boosts innovation, delivers benefits to American workers, and is based on democratic values and respect for privacy and human rights.
“As democracies committed to individual liberties and fair competition, including data privacy, the U.S. and EU have far more in common than what divides us,” said Secretary Raimondo. “We should be driven by those commonalities to once again establish a global framework for long-term inclusive growth and prosperity, especially in areas like the growing digital economy. Strengthening our partnership will benefit citizens and businesses not only on both sides of the Atlantic, but across the world as well.”
At the Summit, the U.S. and EU launched the Trade and Technology Council (TTC), co-chaired on the U.S. side by Secretary Raimondo, Secretary Blinken and Ambassador Tai. The TTC presents a historic opportunity to deepen integration between our two economies, especially in technology-enabled sectors, through the better alignment of standards and tech policies, supporting transatlantic supply chains, and promoting the use of digital technologies by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In addition to supporting President Biden’s mission at the U.S.-EU Summit, Secretary Raimondo met with EU Commission leadership and industry leaders to expand opportunities for American firms to collaborate with the European private sector and strengthen the deep commercial foundation of the transatlantic partnership.
Secretary Raimondo met with Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for a Digital Age. They discussed the range of technology-related areas with potential for ongoing cooperation, including under the TTC, and, in this respect, agreed on the importance of securing a durable framework for transatlantic data transfers. Secretary Raimondo underscored the importance of greater coordination on standards and on digital economy policies, including the Digital Markets Act. She noted that she looked forward to advancing these and other issues in future engagements with the Executive Vice President.
Following their meeting, Secretary Raimondo and Executive Vice President Vestager attended a roundtable with senior executives from leading companies in Europe and the U.S., hosted by DIGITALEUROPE. These companies highlighted the importance of Transatlantic commercial collaboration and urged the United States and the EU to facilitate greater collaboration through closer cooperation on a range of digital economy issues. These included artificial intelligence, data flows, tech standards, export controls, digital skills training, and evidence-based application of competition policy to tech companies.
Additionally, Secretary Raimondo met with European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton. They discussed the importance of deepening collaboration on aligning tech policies, supporting SMEs in both markets, and strengthening Transatlantic supply chains, including with respect to semiconductors. Secretary Raimondo welcomed the Vice President’s invitation for further engagement on tech policy developments in the EU, including the Digital Markets Act, and committed to regular and sustained dialogue on these and other topics related to the digital economy.
Following their meeting, Secretary Raimondo and Commissioner Breton joined a roundtable hosted by AmCham EU to showcase the importance of SMEs to the U.S.-EU economic relationship. They were joined by a range of European SMEs as well as a few senior executives from larger American and European companies to demonstrate concrete examples of partnerships between U.S. and EU businesses, highlighting the tangible benefits of Transatlantic cooperation for both sides of the Atlantic. Participants emphasized the significance of digital technologies that underpinned their business collaboration and suggested actions both governments could take to better support such partnerships, including developing common tech standards, expanding cooperation on cybersecurity, protecting the free of flow of data, strengthening transatlantic supply chains, and promoting the responsible use of artificial intelligence.
Secretary Raimondo and EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders met to discuss their shared commitment to establishing comprehensive successor to the Privacy Shield framework that is fully in line with the Schrems II requirements and with U.S. law. They agreed on the importance of U.S.-EU data transfers to both citizens and businesses of all sizes on both sides of the Atlantic, and to continue negotiations underscored by a shared commitment to privacy, data protection and the rule of law.
Secretary Raimondo and Vice President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova met to discuss ways to support ongoing cooperation between the U.S. and EU that furthers the shared values underpinning this bilateral relationship. They welcomed the constructive engagement by both sides in the ongoing negotiations on a successor to the Privacy Shield framework. They also recognized that, while key issues remained to be addressed in those negotiations, the liberal values and commitment to individual privacy shared by the U.S. and EU would help drive those negotiations to a mutually-agreeable resolution at the appropriate time.
Secretary Raimondo also met with Commissioner Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy. They discussed their shared vision for an ambitious and just transition towards net-zero emissions and the importance of strong Transatlantic commercial cooperation to ensure clean, secure and sustainable energy for both the U.S. and the EU. They also highlighted the importance of increasing deployment of green technologies, which will lead to job creation and support climate change mitigation in both markets.
Finally, while in Brussels, Secretary Raimondo had an opportunity to meet with Commerce Department staff from several bureaus including the International Trade Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She was also able to celebrate time-in-service milestones for three colleagues: Geert Verdegem, Karel Vantomme and Stephane Vrignaud.
“I want to thank our incredible Commerce Department staff in Brussels for their perseverance and dedication during the pandemic,” said Secretary Raimondo. “The U.S.-EU partnership is critical, and our staff on the ground ensures that we are advancing that partnership everyday by cooperating on key issues such as Transatlantic trade, data privacy, climate and green technology, and creating a level playing field, especially for small- and medium-sized American firms.”
Source – U.S. Department of Commerce: https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2021/06/us-secretary-commerce-gina-m-raimondo-joins-president-biden-us-eu-summit-and