September 27, 2021
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the new U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) as a platform to develop common approaches to shared challenges, collaborate on new standards for emerging technologies, enhance bilateral trade and investment, and bolster our competitiveness.
Even as the working group agendas are being developed, there are issues that fall outside the remit of the TTC that require immediate attention. Chief among these is restoring legal certainty to data flows between the U.S. and EU. Regardless of sector, companies depend on their ability to seamlessly share information with clients, customers, and regulators worldwide. But the 2020 Schrems II ruling by the European Court of Justice created massive uncertainty around such transfers. Every item on the TTC agenda is connected to data flows, so securing those flows must be Job #1. Without clarity for ongoing data transfers, the TTC will lack a solid foundation and risks being hobbled before the real work on the broader agenda can begin. As fellow democracies that value consumer privacy and share a common national security bond, Brussels and Washington must agree on a new deal quickly.
Another issue that needs quick resolution is lifting the Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum and associated EU countermeasures. Resolution of these issues will demonstrate that the two sides are committed to collaboration and will build momentum for the work of the Council.
Finally, stakeholders must have a seat at the table as officials craft the TTC agenda, and we welcome the Administration’s openness to this engagement. Active engagement with businesses and other stakeholders will increase prospects for addressing commercially significant barriers to trade and investment and spurring innovation. Together, businesses on both sides of the Atlantic employ over 16 million Americans and Europeans. Removing existing barriers and avoiding new ones will allow even more workers to benefit from the world’s most prosperous and interconnected commercial relationship.
Ahead of the inaugural meeting of the TTC on September 29th in Pittsburgh, the Chamber has developed a list of core principles that should guide the Council as a whole, along with policy priorities for each of the 10 working groups.