November 10, 2022
Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce
The global events of 2022 have forced nations around the world to navigate an increasingly complex economic and geopolitical landscape. Meeting these challenges and seizing new opportunities that may arise requires transatlantic cooperation between public and private-sector leaders in the United States and the European Union.
During an address at the 2022 Transatlantic Business Works Summit, Marisa Lago, the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade (U.S. Department of Commerce), emphasized the importance of working together to ensure a more secure economic future.
“Our future competitiveness and prosperity rely on deepening economic and commercial partnerships with trusted allies and partners and also aligning our approaches to overcoming challenges that threaten our economic security,” she said.
Lago discussed three key areas of current transatlantic cooperation that are advancing the country’s goal of deepening its partnerships with Europe.
American Tech Companies Are Helping Address the Energy Crisis in Europe
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, European countries are facing what Lago calls “twin crises” of climate change and energy security.
“Transatlantic cooperation in clean energy predated Russia's invasion, but today it is that much more vital that we strengthen our partnership to be able to achieve … energy security and at the same time, accelerate the transition to a greener energy mix,” she explained. “We acknowledge the urgency of Europe's energy security challenges, starting with ensuring a sufficient natural gas supply and hastening the … transition away from Russian sources.”
Lago noted that American commerce teams throughout Europe are currently facilitating deals to ease this transition with the help of U.S.-based technology companies.
“The Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration is supporting cutting-edge U.S. clean tech businesses who are seeking to grow their sales in global markets [so] they can help our partners to reduce emissions and also shift to a more sustainable energy mix,” said Lago.
President Biden’s EU-US Data Privacy Framework Is Securing Two-Way Data Flows
In October 2022, President Biden signed an executive order to implement a new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. Once European authorities approve this framework, said Lago, it will “facilitate unencumbered, secure transatlantic data flows,” which will, in turn, enable more two-way trade and investment deals between the U.S. and the EU.
“We're confident that we have reached a solution that will protect privacy and ensure security while allowing commerce to flourish,” she added.
Lago also noted that implementing this framework will draw a “very clear distinction” between the U.S.-EU approach to data security and that of authoritarian states.
The TTC Is Forging ‘Vital Cooperation’ on Technological Developments
Lago is heavily involved in the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), a transatlantic partnership encouraging cooperation on key issues like tech development, sustainability, and economic competitiveness.
“This is a nimble, flexible format through which we are forging vital cooperation on critical technological development, and also looking to address differences across the Atlantic before they become trade irritants,” said Lago.
While the TTC framework facilitated the rapid cooperation of 38 countries to impose economic sanctions on Russia in response to the war in Ukraine, Lago believes the Council has the potential to do more than just respond to crises.
“We can capitalize on opportunities for growth and prosperity in the 21st-century economy,” she said, specifically citing the current development of an artificial intelligence roadmap that prioritizes security and risk management.
“This is a mutual priority that is going to grow in scope as new AI applications come online and as more authoritarian regimes [take] a different approach to security and risk management,” Lago explained. “This roadmap … is integral to ensuring that the deployment of emerging tech reflects our shared principles and democratic values.”
“We also believe that this roadmap will return strategic and economic benefits to all of our economies and importantly, our citizens … [by] ensuring that our dynamic SME communities aren't unfairly locked out of these new digital and AI markets,” she added.