With the final statement published — and much glad-handing completed — senior EU and United States officials set out their stall for greater cooperation on trade and technology. All the greatest hits were there. So-called export controls and investment screening, mostly to keep China at bay. Possible limits on the use of artificial intelligence. Promises to work more closely on global trade challenges (also read: China.)
But for those expecting fireworks, this meeting was not that. EU and U.S. officials told me the goal of this first summit was merely to lay down a marker so that the TTC’s 10 working groups (details here) could get down to work on more concrete goals for the next meeting, mostly likely in France in early 2022. “We wanted to put forward a plan for what’s to come,” said one, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Now the working groups will get down to work. This is just start of something bigger.”
“There are areas that are in there, including some that have been more fleshed out than others, that are clearly on the agenda only because of shared concerns about China,” Emily Kilcrease, director of the energy, economics and security program at the Center for a New American Security, and former official at the United States Trade Representative, told me. “Investment screening would not have such a robust presence on the agenda if there wasn’t a shared concern about Chinese acquisitions.”
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