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EU and US agree to strengthen global supply chains amid Ukraine war

Brussels and Washington say they want to strengthen global supply chains in order to counter the effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine following a bi-annual meeting between the two sides. 

After the second meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Paris Sunday and Monday, European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis told Euronews that the two sides are a united front in the face of Moscow’s disruptive war.

“It’s clear that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is creating major disruptions,” Dombrovskis said. “It concerns many goods across the borders. First and foremost, it concerns energy, where we already have tangible cooperation.”

The conflict has thrown the production and attainability of key components into chaos, worsening the living cost crisis on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘Early warning system’ for trade of semiconductors

The availability of semiconductors — an essential component of electronic devices — is one product impacted by the war.

Brussels and Washington say they now want to develop an early warning system to identify any global disruptions to the value chains of semiconductors.

“Transatlantic collaboration on supply chains and digital technologies is crucial to defend our common interests and values,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, said Monday.

“Having successfully worked with the United States on supply chain bottlenecks for vaccine ingredients, I am pleased to see a joint ambition to strengthen supply chain resilience in other areas, from raw materials to semiconductors.” 

“The Paris summit is an important moment for the Trade and Technology Council to transform the transatlantic dialogue into concrete results,” Breton stated.

Countering Beijing’s dominance

China is one of the world’s largest semiconductor producers, as well as one of the leading suppliers of rare earth materials used to make the product. 

Brussels and Washington have now agreed to widen their supply chains for rare earth materials, to try and counter Beijing’s dominance in the field.

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo added that the work of the TTC allowed the two sides to limit Moscow’s military capabilities in Ukraine.

“We were able to immediately come together and hammer Russia with extreme export controls and essentially cutting them off from all the advanced technlogy they need to conduct their military operation,” Raimondo told reporters.

As well as agreeing to cooperate further in developing shared methodologies for measuring AI trustworthiness and risks, the EU and US also committed to further supporting Kyiv further by identifying measures that will expand trade in Ukraine and investment in the country.

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