December 8, 2021
Chief of Staff, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google
VP of Policy and Government Relations for the Americas, Nokia
Deputy General Counsel, U.S. International Trade and Azure, Microsoft
Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM
Former Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Executive Vice President, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President, Center for Technology Engagement (C_TEC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Senior Advisor to the President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. and EU have been working together to expand trade and investment ties between both economies. This partnership plays a critical role in expanding and creating jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s third-annual Transatlantic Business Summit, business and government leaders from the U.S. and the EU discussed opportunities for transatlantic collaboration and innovation. Here are three highlights from the Summit about how the U.S. and EU can work together to overcome today’s most pressing obstacles.
Working Together to Navigate the Rapidly-Changing Digital World
The Honorable Gina M. Raimondo, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said the Biden Administration is “committed to restoring and deepening the transatlantic alliance,” as it is a top foreign policy priority.
“Together, [the U.S. and EU] launched the Trade and Technology Council,” she said. “This is an opportunity for us to update the rules of the road for the 21st-century economy while expanding our competitiveness around the world.”
Ultimately, she added, the goal is to create an environment where businesses can flourish. To achieve this, the U.S. has been discussing key tech issues with the EU, including the European union's Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Acts. Through these pieces of legislation, the EU seeks to cultivate a “fair, transparent, and safe digital space.”
However, “we have serious concerns that these proposals will disproportionately impact U.S.-based tech firms and their ability to adequately serve EU customers and uphold security and privacy standards,” said Raimondo.
“We understand the proposals are moving quickly through the EU legislative process, but now more than ever, we encourage officials to continue listening to our concerns by stakeholders before finalizing their decision,” she added. “As we navigate this rapidly changing digital world, we need each other now more than ever. We are allies with a core commitment to competitive, open economies. We can continue to work together as partners toward finding more common ground.”
The U.S. Must Foster Trust from the EU in a Shared Technology Ecosystem
C.J. Mahoney, deputy general counsel of U.S. International Trade and Azure at Microsoft, said there are two things that are needed in order to keep the transatlantic digital economy connected.
“Number one, I think it's really important that the EU realizes that there's urgency in this situation for [them] as well as for the United States,” he said. “I think the United States really needs to embrace the motivations that have led a number of people in the EU to embrace the concept of tech sovereignty because what that means is that the EU wants to have a thriving tech sector.”
Mahoney added that it's a reasonable desire that the U.S. should foster the idea, fueling the argument that the European tech sector is better off as part of a common technology ecosystem rather than limiting the ecosystem to just Europe.
“I also think that the U.S., over the long-run, has got to get serious about comprehensive privacy legislation,” Mahoney continued. “No matter what fix we can have to the privacy shield. … I think it's ultimately going to take legislative action by the U.S. Congress in order to build a strong foundation for this relationship.”
To Achieve Sustainable Finance, Governments Must Form Clear Targets
Ilan Jacobs, director of government affairs and ESG and policy specialist at Citi, outlined ways global financial institutions like Citi can play a leading role in sustainable finance.
“We can't transform the global economy on our own,” he said. “This isn't just going to be driven by finance. The most important thing, which would hopefully open the flood gates to private capital supporting the green transition, is really clear signals from the government.”
Without clear targets and ambitions from governments, Jacobs continued, finance won’t flow.
“So, it was great news that we saw many governments making these commitments and all of the individual pledges around methane use and coal, and energy and deforestation,” he said. “What we need now really is some clear political and policy commitments and the implementation of these pledges, which I think will help to unlock the finance that is clearly there.”