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China Strains, AI Top of The Agenda at US, EU Summit Talks

A 24-page draft joint statement focuses on AI algorithm standards, export controls and China’s non-market practices and disinformation

European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager speaks during a news conference in Brussels, Belgium February 1, 2023. REUTERS/Yves Herman
European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager at news conference in Brussels, Belgium, on February 1, 2023. Photo: Reuters


Top US and European Union officials meet in Sweden on Tuesday with China and the AI revolution top of their agenda.

Washington and Brussels will be weighing up how best to deal with Beijing as well as looking to cooperate on artificial intelligence and other future technologies, as well as EU complaints about Trump-era tariffs and US green subsidies.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager will attend the fourth ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) for two days in Lulea, just below the Arctic Circle.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Trade Representative Katherine Tai and European Commission vice president and trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis will also take part.


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The smorgasbord of topics, outlined in a 24-page draft joint statement, include cooperation on setting minimum standards for generative AI algorithms, such as ChatGPT, and export controls and investment monitoring, which have so far centred on Russia.

China will be a major focus of the meeting, even if the word “China” only features twice in the draft joint statement – on non-market practices and disinformation.

Diplomats say Washington has pushed for language echoing some of the concerns expressed at the G7 leaders meeting a week ago, which China’s Global Times dubbed an “anti-China workshop”.

The gathering in northern Sweden comes just as the European Commission presents its “Economic Security Strategy”, expected to contain measures to prevent rivals such as China gaining access to its most sensitive technology.


Critical Minerals Discussions

Brussels wants to see cooperation to boost green trade, such as mutual recognition of products, even though the US and EU do not have and do not plan to forge a free-trade agreement.

That has left EU producers excluded from some of the benefits of the United States’ projected $369 billion worth of green subsidies in its Inflation Reduction Act.

The EU is seeking progress with the US towards an accord on critical minerals used for electric vehicles.

It also wants advances towards a “green steel” arrangement tackling overcapacity that is required by the end of October to avert the return of steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by former US President Donald Trump that were suspended in 2021 after he left office.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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