U.S. Chamber urges EU to end tariffs, adopt privacy shield

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U.S. Chamber urges EU to end tariffs, adopt privacy shield

U.S. Chamber group urges Brussels to take up U.S. - EU action to end tariffs and adopt privacy shield Citizens are pictured during the visit of Vice President Pence to the EU headquarters in Strasbourg, Bruxelles.

WASHINGTON - The United States and European Union on Wednesday urged the United States and European Union to quickly solve their dispute over steel and aluminum tariffs and subsidies and adopt a new privacy shield to better coordinate digital policy.

The largest U.S. business lobbying group mapped out its recommendations in a four-page memorandum sent to US officials as President Joe Biden began his first trip abroad, an eight-day mission to repair transatlantic ties strained during the Trump period and to strengthen relations with Russia.

At the summit, U.S. and EU officials are expected to launch a new trade and technology council that will facilitate standardisation and set in fields such as artificial intelligence and data flows, according to U.S. and EU sources.

In its memo, which was seen by Reuters, the Chamber said that Biden's summit with EU leaders on 15 June 2017 was the right time to launch such a platform and align on clear priorities.

Doing so, it was said, would help in the economic recovery by preventing new barriers to transatlantic trade, and establishing joint approaches on foundational and emerging technologies.

Closer cooperation would allow the two sides to craft more coordinated and effective response calls to countries that do not respect global trade rules and norms and pose significant threats to our security and values, an apparent reference to Russia and China.

Brussels secretary of trade Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters on Wednesday that Brussels hoped that the visit will help improve trade conflicts and bring a quick conclusion.

According to a draft communique, United States and European officials will set a deadline before 11 July to resolve the nearly 17-year dispute over government subsidies to aircraft makers Airbus SE and Boeing Co., while lifting 1 December to end punitive tariffs related to the steel and aluminum trade dispute.

The chamber also said that both sides should agree to a new U.S. privacy shield to facilitate better coordination on digital policies, a vital step needed to give companies the legal confidence when transferring data across Atlantic Oceans.

The parties should also agree to a first, do no harm principle on new regulations and new preferential trade agreements with third countries, the chamber said.

It said that the formal council should hold twice-yearly meetings at senior level to allow for new business input.

The goal, it said, should be to strengthen bilateral relations, promote competition and innovation, and to address common concerns with third countries meaningfully.

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