High-level talks in Sweden to address China, AI, and trade strains between EU and U.S.


30th May 2023 – (Lulea) Top officials from the US and European Union (EU) are meeting in Sweden to discuss how best to deal with China and cooperate on future technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), as well as EU complaints about Trump-era tariffs and U.S. green subsidies. The fourth ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) will be attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Trade Representative Katherine Tai, as well as European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager and Trade Chief Valdis Dombrovskis.

The two-day meeting in Lulea, Sweden, will cover a range of topics, including cooperation on setting minimum standards for generative AI algorithms, export controls, and investment monitoring. China will be a major focus of the meeting, even though the word “China” only appears twice in the 24-page draft joint statement. Diplomats say that the US has pushed for language echoing some of the concerns expressed at the recent G7 leaders meeting, which China’s Global Times dubbed an “anti-China workshop.”

The EU is expected to present its “Economic Security Strategy” during the meeting, which will contain measures to prevent rivals such as China from gaining access to its most sensitive technology. Brussels is seeking cooperation to boost green trade and is pushing for progress with the US towards an accord on critical minerals used for electric vehicles. The EU is also seeking advances towards a”green steel” arrangement that will tackle overcapacity and avert the return of steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by former US President Donald Trump.