Google is calling on the United States to join a Technology and Trade Council (TTC) that was recently proposed by the European Commission.
“An expedited high-level trade dialogue on technology issues is critical to avoid unilateral approaches on pressing issues like data flows that are essential to commerce, regulation of digital platforms that we all use every day, and other essential components of a modern economy,” Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president for government affairs and public policy, wrote in a blog post on Friday (April 9). “A TTC could also prevent divergence on emerging areas like artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies and promote cooperation on third-country technology challenges.”
Bhatia argued that new national policies are hindering trade in technology, whether that means tariffs, trade controls, discriminatory taxes or restrictions on investments. “In short, we’re seeing the erosion of a carefully nurtured global trading system that has contributed to progress and prosperity in the U.S. and around the world,” he wrote, saying that this erosion goes beyond the relationship between America and China and includes — “more concerningly” — the U.S. relationship with Europe.
These trends risk 16 million trade and investment-related jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, and make it tougher for the U.S. and the EU to take on new technology challenges and forge partnerships with emerging economies in Asia, Bhatia wrote.
With a TTC, the U.S. and Europe could avoid unilateral approaches to issues such as data flows that are crucial to commerce and digital platform regulation, while also preventing differences on advanced technologies like AI and promoting collaboration on third-country tech challenges, the blog post stated.
The European Commission proposed the TTC late last year, calling on the U.S. to help not only with its coronavirus response, but also with promoting green economic policies.
Bhatia’s remarks come two months after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt called on the U.S. to increase the pace of technological innovation to keep up with China.
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