Paul van Gerven
30 September 2021

The European Union and the United States have taken steps towards deepening transatlantic cooperation on trade and technology, and semiconductors in particular. Following a meeting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the newly minted US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) released a statement outlining a collaborative approach for investment screening, export controls for sensitive technologies, artificial intelligence, semiconductor supply chains and resolving global trade challenges.

While China isn’t mentioned in the document, many of the agreed-upon outcomes appear to be directed at Beijing. “We stand together in continuing to protect our businesses, consumers and workers from unfair trade practices, in particular those posed by non-market economies, that are undermining the world trading system,” the inaugural joint statement reads.

Credit: Flickr/Rob Bulmahn

The US and EU governments agreed to work together on “the rebalancing of global supply chains in semiconductors with a view to enhancing their respective security of supply as well as respective capacity to design and produce semiconductors, especially, but not limited to, those with leading-edge capabilities.”

The semiconductor cooperation, however, will initially focus on “short-term supply chain issues,” postponing discussions about mid and long-term strategic semiconductor issues to the next TTC meeting, for which no date has been set yet. Until then, the partners will focus on identifying vulnerabilities, mapping capacity in the supply chain and strengthening ecosystems from research and design to manufacturing.

Looking to avoid a subsidy race to bolster domestic semiconductor companies on either side of the Atlantic, the EU and US pledged to find the “right incentives.”