USCIB Vice President for International Investment and Trade Policy Alice Slayton Clark was in Luleå, Sweden to attend the fourth meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), a platform to advance Transatlantic cooperation and democratic approaches to trade, technology, and security.
An official delegate, Clark served as a principal in the TTC’s Trade and Labor Dialogue (TALD), a selective exchange between business and unions on both sides of the Atlantic to explore policies related to the intersection of trade, labor and technology. The meeting in Luleå showcased an agreement on forced labor trade strategy principles reached between business and labor partners. The principles reflect inputs from USCIB members on the need for a “multifaceted” approach involving diplomacy, foreign assistance, capacity building, and supply chain due diligence to address the root causes of the problem. Because industry and unions could not reach agreement on the role of border enforcement as a trade tool, footnotes were inserted to reflect differences.
“USCIB is pleased business and unions were able to agree through the TALD process on principles to address forced labor,” Clark asserted. “Importantly, the document notes industry support for incentives rather than punitive border measures as trade tools of choice to prevent violative goods from being produced and entering into commerce in the first place.”
Also discussed by TALD participants were trade and labor issues linked to the green transition, a topic of key concern to the US and EU and showcased in official visits to the green steel Hybrit plant in Luleå. USCIB initial views on the topic promoted a comprehensive strategy of trade, investment, education and training policies. USCIB will work with members to develop these points as the TALD green transition discussions continue in the months ahead.
Importantly, the TTC meeting also produced a Joint Statement that reaffirms transatlantic alignment on the war in Ukraine, reform of the World Trade Organization, policies against economic coercion and pursuit of supply chain diversification. Many issues discussed at the meeting reflect transatlantic convergence on policies related to Russia and China. As such, according to Clark, the TTC continues to draw high level government participation including full engagement from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and European Commission Executive Vice President Margreth Vestager.
Other key issues advanced in Luleå were the launch of principal level consultations to head off subsidy races for the semiconductor industry, a task force to address cooperation in quantum technologies, the development of a work program for the Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade, exploration of increased use of digital tools to enhance trade, continued cooperation on export controls, illegal diversion of technologies and sanctions, availability of critical minerals, and managing emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence.