EU backs U.S. tech trade declaration after French concerns

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BRUSSELS, Sep 29 (Businesshala) – European Union governments on Wednesday committed to a joint EU-US declaration on technology cooperation, in time for a crucial transatlantic meeting, after France threatened to block it, the European Union. Union diplomats said.

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Senior US and EU officials aim to discuss semiconductor shortages, artificial intelligence and technological competition at the inaugural meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on Wednesday.

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The TTC meeting was in doubt last week because of French anger over Australia’s decision to end a $40 billion submarine contract and opt for a deal with the United States and Britain to buy nuclear-powered ships. .

EU diplomats said France wants to strike in the context of a second meeting in the spring of 2022, when French presidential elections will be held.

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Diplomats said it also sought to soften language on the proposed semiconductor supply chain partnership, which the EU and the United States said were mutually dependent.

After talks until late Tuesday, the second meeting was referenced and the semiconductor route was adjusted to highlight short-term, rather than long-term, supply dependence.

The revised text was approved on Wednesday at a meeting of EU ministers on the competitiveness of the EU market.

Diplomats said the French reservations were related less to the submarine dispute and more to France’s strong belief in the autonomy of the European Union.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Catherine Tai will host European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrowski and Margrethe Vestager in a forum designed to set technical standards in Pittsburgh.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Editing by William McLean

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