EU to attend US Trade and Technology Council as French fury dies down


Flags of the European Union fly in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, July 14, 2021. REUTERS / Yves Herman / File Photo

BRUSSELS, Sept. 23 (Reuters) – The inaugural meeting of the US-European Trade and Technology Council (TTC) will go as planned next week after being questioned over French anger over the cancellation of ‘a $ 40 billion submarine contract.

The European Commission, which oversees the European Union’s trade policy to 27 countries, said on Thursday that the Pittsburgh meeting would take place, and EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis said on Twitter that there would attend.

France was outraged by Australia’s decision last week to cancel a French contract and opt instead for a deal with the United States and Britain to purchase nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new security partnership called AUKUS.

Paris has recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra for consultations and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday that it would take “time and action” to restore confidence .

French fury had threatened to force the postponement or cancellation of the first TTC meeting.

The council aims to agree on common technology standards and has working groups on issues such as supply chain security, green technologies, data governance and export controls.

US Co-Chairs – Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai – will host European Commission Executive Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Dombrovskis for the first meeting next Wednesday.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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