WASHINGTON – Senior officials from the United States and the European Union will meet on Wednesday to discuss several major economic and technological challenges facing the transatlantic alliance as China’s ambitions increasingly shape global markets.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will represent the Biden administration at the first U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, or TTC, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Biden’s team will meet with European Commission executive vice presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovski.

The group aims to resolve trade disputes, streamline regulatory procedures and develop “rules of the road” for emerging technologies on both sides of the Atlantic.

The urgency of the United States and the European Union to cooperate on trade and technology signals Western ambitions to compete more effectively with China. Washington and Brussels have accused Beijing of unfair trade practices ranging from theft of intellectual property to dumping.

“Europe and the United States have a common interest in ensuring that others obey these rules of the road,” said a senior official in the Biden administration, who requested anonymity to share the details. before the meeting, without naming a particular government.

The official said the Trade and Technology Council will focus on cooperation in the following areas:

  • Technological standards
  • Supply chain security
  • Climate and green energy
  • IT security and competitiveness
  • Data governance
  • Export controls
  • Investment filtering
  • Global business challenges

Wednesday’s US-European meeting in Pittsburgh comes as the Biden administration shifts from costly interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia – like the 20-year US military mission in Afghanistan – to emerging threats posed by Russia and the United States. China.

Last week, Biden met in person with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan at the White House to discuss common concerns about China’s growing military and economic influence. The leaders also discussed the progress of Covid-19 vaccines, technology cooperation and a free and open Indo-Pacific as China increasingly asserts itself in the region.

The meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, as the Big Four Democracies are called, came just a week after Biden announced a new security pact with the UK and Australia, a move that angered Beijing.

Biden, alongside Australian Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, announced a new trilateral security partnership aimed at strengthening and stabilizing the South Pacific-Indian Ocean region.

As part of the deal, the US and UK will help Canberra acquire nuclear-powered submarines, which will allow the Australian Navy to help counter Chinese nuclear-powered ships in the region. .

“This will give Australia the ability for its submarines to essentially deploy for longer periods, they are quieter, they are much more capable, they will allow us to maintain and improve deterrence through the Indo-Pacific, ”said a senior administration official. , who spoke on condition of anonymity, said earlier this month.

“What we are seeing in the Indo-Pacific region is a set of circumstances where the capabilities are more advanced,” the official added. “It allows Australia to play at a much higher level and increase American capabilities.”

Beijing lambasted the security pact and the arms deal, calling it “extremely irresponsible”.

“The export of highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology to Australia by the US and UK once again proves that they are using nuclear exports as a geopolitical game tool and adopting double standards. . It is extremely irresponsible, “Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. asked about the trilateral security pact earlier this month.

“The search for a closed and exclusive clique goes against the zeitgeist and the aspirations of the countries of the region, which finds no support and leads nowhere,” he added.

Biden, who spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, previously said his approach to China would be different from that of his predecessor in that he would work more closely with his allies to push back Beijing.

However, the president’s latest move angered America’s oldest ally. The security alliance, called AUKUS, sparked a diplomatic row with Paris as the deal effectively ended a long-standing arms deal between Australia and France.

Biden met with French President Emmanuel Macron last week in an effort to ease tensions, and the two leaders agreed to meet in Europe at the end of October. During the appeal, Macron also agreed to return the French ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne, to Washington.

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