EU-US Trade and Technology Council meets to coordinate on supply chains

Agenda includes warning system for disruptions, and avoiding 'subsidy race' for chip investments

The EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is meeting in Paris today to discuss coordinated approaches to global supply chain issues.

This is only the second meeting of the TTC, the agenda for which was prepared in February. That highlighted a number of priorities, including securing supply chains, technological cooperation, the coordination of measures to combat distorting practices, and approaches to the decarbonization of trade.

According to a White House pre-briefing for US reporters, the EU and US are set to announce joint approaches on technical discussions to international standard-setting bodies, an early warning system to better predict and address potential semiconductor supply chain disruptions, and a transatlantic approach to semiconductor investments aimed at ensuring security of supply.

The latter needs a coordinated approach so that "as both Washington and Brussels look to encourage semiconductor investment in our respective countries, we do so in a coordinated fashion and don't simply encourage a subsidy race," a senior administration official said.

Both the EU and US plan to bolster their semiconductor industries through investments and other policies to encourage the build-up of local chip manufacturing to ensure supplies and reduce reliance on components from other parts of the world.

In the US, the Biden administration is trying to secure $52 billion in funding for the CHIPS Act, which will subsidize companies to build semiconductor fabrication plants stateside, among other policies.

The EU has its own European Chips Act, which proposes funding and initiatives to boost semiconductor research and development within the EU as well as building new production facilities.

On the early warning system for supply chains, a US senior administration official said it would build on measures the US had in place last year, tracking key semiconductor-oriented production sites across southeast Asia to understand as early as possible when disruptions would emerge.

"This is really a chance for us to expand that work and multilateralize it with our European partners. I would say we are very closely monitoring the situation in China, which is clearly impacting a number of different supply chains, not just semiconductor," the official said.

According to the White House briefing, the TTC will also discuss plans for a joint US-EU guide to cybersecurity best practices for small and medium-sized companies, and a new cooperation framework to focus on online misinformation, such as that being spread by Russia in relation to the war in Ukraine.

Formed last year, the TTC has the objective of deepening transatlantic relations by coordinating on key global concerns. It is described as a forum for the two to discuss legislative and regulatory changes and to agree on common positions within international bodies or to initiate transatlantic coordination where applicable.

The TTC currently has 10 working groups covering issues such as green technology, technology standards cooperation, export controls for sensitive goods, and securing supply chains.

This is not the only international talking shop the US is involved with when it comes to technology. Last year, the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIAC) and the Chinese Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA) launched a working group to address technical and trade-related issues between the two nations. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Big Tech begs Congress to pass $52bn chip subsidies bill
    This silicon business ain't cheap, you know, say execs at Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia etc

    Big Tech in America has had enough of Congress' inability to pass pending legislation that includes tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to boost semiconductor manufacturing and R&D in the country.

    In a letter [PDF] sent to Senate and House leaders Wednesday, the CEOs of Alphabet, Amazon, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, VMware, and dozens of other tech and tech-adjacent companies urged the two chambers of Congress to reach consensus on a long-stalled bill they believe will make the US more competitive against China and other countries.

    "The rest of the world is not waiting for the US to act. Our global competitors are investing in their industry, their workers, and their economies, and it is imperative that Congress act to enhance US competitiveness," said the letter.

    Continue reading
  • Semiconductor industry growth to slow in 2022, warns IDC
    Chip price hikes keeping sector healthy but new fabs could lead to 'overcapacity'

    The global economy may be in a tenuous situation right now, but the semiconductor industry is likely to walk away from 2022 with a "healthy" boost in revenues, according to analysts at IDC. But beware oversupply, the analyst firm warns.

    Semiconductor companies across the world are expected to grow collective revenues by 13.7 percent year-on-year to $661 billion, IDC said in research published Wednesday. Global semiconductor revenue last year was $582 billion.

    "Overall, the semiconductor industry remains on track to deliver another healthy year of growth as the super cycle that began in 2020 continues this year," said Mario Morales, IDC group vice president of semiconductors.

    Continue reading
  • Proposed Innovation Act amendment would block US investment in China
    We're just astounded to see bipartisan efforts in Congress in this day and age

    A draft US law that would, for one thing, subsidize the US semiconductor industry, has gained an amendment that would turn the screws on American investments in foreign countries.

    The proposed update states that semiconductors, large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, rare-earth elements biotech, AI, quantum computing, hypersonics, fintech and autonomous technologies are all included as sectors in which foreign investment would be limited, specifically in "countries of concern," or those considered foreign adversaries, like China. The amendment also would restrict construction investments and joint ventures that would involve sharing of IP and monetary rewards.

    US entities that have invested in a sector or country covered under the amendment would be required to notify the federal government, and the proposal also includes authorization for the executive branch to form an interagency panel responsible for reviewing and blocking foreign investments on national security grounds, the Wall Street Journal said of the amendment.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022