Here is the reestablished contact, whereas there had not been any EU-United States summit since 2017. Invited since his election, Joe Biden was expected at the turn, Tuesday, June 15, on the occasion of his meeting with the two European leaders, the President of the Council Charles Michel and the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Bury Trump’s ax
The American president answered them with a strong symbol. A five-year truce has been enacted to settle the old Airbus-Boeing conflict which poisons relations against a background of illegal subsidies granted to aircraft manufacturers. It’s about a “Milestone” for the EU, which had taken the first step by suspending from the 1is June taxes (Harley-Davidson, jeans, tobacco, corn, rice, orange juice…) introduced in response to American taxes. These countermeasures will remain frozen for six months, to give Washington time to in turn lift the tariff barriers imposed under the Trump era on steel, aluminum, or even on the wine sector. This agenda must show Moscow and Beijing a united Western front.
In their conclusions, Brussels and Washington say “Ready to respond firmly to the repetition of negative behaviors and harmful activities” from Russia. Westerners have also promised themselves to “Cooperate closely” facing China, but with respect for“Their respective approaches”. The EU, worried about the fate of the Uyghurs and the situation in Hong Kong, suspended the investment agreement reached in December with Beijing, but has not renounced it.
Pragmatism in the spotlight
The United States and the European Union do not intend to enter into a logic of free trade agreement. Frozen until further notice, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiated since 2013 is no longer relevant. Brussels and Washington opt instead for a “Business and Technology Council” the aim of which will be to promote common standards in areas such as artificial intelligence and digital technology, with the aim of limiting the excessive uses observed in autocratic regimes.
Convergence is also expected in fiscal matters (minimum taxation of multinationals) or in the environmental field (price per tonne of CO2). “This rationale for regulatory cooperation is ambitious, it will perhaps be more effective than an approach that involves a very broad menu, but on which it is very difficult to agree”, underlines Elvire Fabry, expert in trade policy at the Jacques Delors Institute.
The negotiations are going well, before the national elections in Germany, then in France. “There is a high level of exchange with the Americans”, notes Xavier Timbeau, director of the French Observatory of Economic Conjunctures (OFCE). This is evidenced by the presence alongside Joe Biden of his United States trade representative, Katherine Tai. At 47, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, a Yale and Harvard graduate, who speaks fluent Mandarin, was in parallel discussions at the summit, with the executive vice-president of the European Commission, the Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis. Objective, to counter China.