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U.S.-EU Trade Meeting Faces Constraints Amid French Objections By Bloomberg


© Bloomberg. Containers for shipping at Bayonne Terminal, Bayonne, New Jersey on June 17th. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — A disagreement among European Union countries means a pivotal trade meeting with the U.S. this week will be narrower in scope than originally planned and the contents of a joint statement outlining the results are still up in the air.

During a meeting of EU ambassadors on Monday, France wouldn’t agree to the draft conclusions for the trade and technology council meeting with the U.S. planned for Sept. 29 in Pittsburgh, according to officials familiar with the talks.

Another official said that EU diplomats expected an updated draft to arrive Monday evening.

After four years of conflict between America and Europe, the meeting is intended to bring about reconciliation. Four main issues will be addressed: screening foreign investment, export controls and semiconductor supply chain. Artificial intelligence is also one of the topics.

In the wake of Australia’s announcement, the French sought to delay the meeting. This was in response to the fact that France needed to stop Australia from receiving nuclear-powered submarines.

Another EU diplomat said several countries have pushed for changes to the draft document, including ones aimed at protecting the EU’s regulatory autonomy from U.S. influence. 

Bloomberg obtained a copy the TTC draft conclusions. It appears that the new version has reduced the scope of discussions on semiconductors. Instead, it will focus only on issues related to short-term supply chains.

“This partnership should be balanced and of equal interest to both sides,” the draft said. “It will initially focus on short-term supply chain issues. Cooperation on mid- and long-term strategic semiconductor issues will begin in the relevant TTC working groups ahead of the next TTC meeting.”

At least one member state complained that the text was getting weaker with each new iteration, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

The negotiations among members are still ongoing to try to come to an agreement about a statement for the meeting.  


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