“What is at stake for Spain with the new EU-US Trade & Technology Council?”, Raquel Jorge-Ricart (Elcano, Spain)

In 1966, the Italian Foreign Minister, Amintore Fanfani, called on Washington, DC, to establish a “technological Marshall Plan” among NATO Member states to cooperate in high-tech areas. It did not succeed though. 55 years later –in June 2021–, the European Union and the United States announced the launch of the first-ever Joint Council on Technology and Trade.

The goal is two-fold. In the released joint communiqué, it is explicitly noted that both allies “plan to cooperate on the development and deployment of new technologies based on our shared democratic values, including respect for human rights, and that encourages compatible standards and regulations”. At the same time, it aims to “closely consult and cooperate on the full range of issues in the framework of our respective similar multi-faceted approaches to China”, which will include elements of cooperation, competition, and systemic rivalry.

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