By Jeff Rittener, Chief Trade Officer, Intel
Last week, the U.S. and EU agreed to strengthen transatlantic cooperation to remedy the global imbalance in semiconductor supply chains and take a more unified approach to global technology firms. This decision took place at the first U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) and comes at a time when Congress is considering critical legislation to invest in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, including research and development, and EU policymakers have advanced proposals for similar investments.
Intel is optimistic about the results of the first TTC meeting as we have significant operations on both sides of the Atlantic, including semiconductor manufacturing facilities and research and development centers. The conversations that took place take us one step closer to alignment on regulatory policies to help reduce trade barriers.
The semiconductor industry has multiple layers ranging from design to manufacturing and is distributed across many nations within a global supply chain. That’s why by working together through the TTC, the EU and U.S. can create a regulatory blueprint for relevant semiconductor industries worldwide.
An important priority when considering the global supply chain is how to manage export controls. Export controls are powerful tools that are best used strategically, in a manner that is integrated in a unified strategy with other tools of national policy, narrowly tailored to address specific national security concerns, and implemented multilaterally with other semiconductor-producing countries.
The U.S.-EU TTC established that a multilateral approach to export controls is most effective for protecting international security and supporting a global level-playing field. In order to do that, a harmonized export control regime among like-minded transatlantic partners would ensure products are available in an increasingly digital world.
As no other two regions are as closely intertwined as transatlantic partners, the trade of goods across the Atlantic is of crucial importance. While supporting the objectives and acknowledging the importance of having a system in place, export controls have significant potential for increased cooperation and harmonization between the U.S. and the EU, especially as narratives such as technological sovereignty and open strategic autonomy shape dialogues. Keeping this in mind, both entities should make sure that any new controls are smart controls that meet the national security objectives of the EU and U.S.
At Intel, we look forward to working with the TTC and appreciate its decision to consult stakeholders to identify and avoid potential new unnecessary barriers to trade in products or services derived from new and emerging technologies. Allowing direct engagement by industry with the EU and U.S. policymakers helps the industry benefit from open markets more efficiently, and effectively address and concretely impact policy initiatives related to leveling the playing field for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.