US and EU to seek harmony on big tech regulation
Top officials from the EU and US later will this month try to attune their strategies on regulating big tech and defend democratic values on the internet, a statement said on Thursday. The creation of an EU-US tech council was agreed at a summit in June and its work begins as both sides are drawing up laws that could profoundly change the ways giants such as Google, Facebook or Apple do business.
The US will almost certainly press Europe to help curb the ambitions of emerging superpower China. The first transatlantic Trade and Tech Council will take place in Pittsburgh, a US tech hub, on September 29. It will be chaired by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. On the European side, EU executive vice presidents Margrethe Vestager, the bloc's tech supremo, and Valdis Dombrovskis will take the lead talks.
The council came at the request of the Europeans who sought concrete signs of appeased transatlantic cooperation after years of tension under president Donald Trump, especially over trade matters.
"This inaugural meeting ... marks our joint commitment to expanding and deepening transatlantic trade and investment and to updating the rules for the 21st century economy," a joint statement said.
"Building on our shared democratic values and the world's largest economic relationship, we have been working hard ... to identify the areas where we can take concrete steps to ensure trade and technology policies deliver for our people," it added.
The statement said the meeting will consist of 10 working groups on topics that include cooperation on technology standards, supply chain security and security and human rights abuses online.