"The European Union and the United States acknowledge that AI technologies yield powerful advances but also can threaten our shared values and fundamental freedoms if they are not developed and deployed responsibly or if they are misused. The European Union and the United States affirm their willingness and intention to develop and implement AI systems that are innovative and trustworthy and that respect universal human rights and shared democratic values"
- EU-US Trade and Technology Council, Joint Inaugural Statement (Sept. 29, 2022)
Fourth Ministerial Meeting (30-31 May 2023)
Key Outcomes (excerpt)
3. Defending human rights and values, and combatting foreign information manipulation and interference
The EU and US agreed on:
Trade and Technology Council Fourth Ministerial – Annex II Transparent and accountable online platforms
Trade and Technology Council Fourth Ministerial – Annex on Foreign information manipulation and interference in third countries
The Misuse of Technology to Threaten Security and Human Rights working group is tasked to combat arbitrary or unlawful surveillance, including on social media platforms; explore building an effective mechanism to respond to Internet shutdowns, in conjunction with the G7 and others likeminded countries; work to protect human rights defenders online; and increase transatlantic cooperation to address foreign information manipulation, including disinformation, and interference with democratic processes, while upholding freedom of expression and privacy rights. The working group is tasked to address social scoring systems and to collaborate on projects furthering the development of trustworthy AI.
Areas of cooperation
The European Union and the United States want to translate our common values into tangible action and cooperation for mutual benefit.
[From the US State Department]
"Presidents Biden, von der Leyen, and Michel established the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) at the June 2021 U.S.-EU Summit. Building on shared democratic values and the world’s largest economic relationship, the United States looks forward to working with the EU to ensure trade and technology policies and the rules of the road deliver for our people. The TTC aims to demonstrate to the world how democratic and market-oriented approaches to trade, technology, and innovation can improve the lives of our citizens and be a force for greater prosperity.
"A key goal is to lead global, like-minded partners in promoting an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable digital space, and to remain leaders in developing and protecting tomorrow’s technology. Through the TTC, the United States and the EU can work together toward a safer and more prosperous world with growth guided by principles of sustainable development, environmental protection, and urgent action to confront the climate crisis.
Our shared goals in the TTC are to:
President Biden delegated the TTC to three U.S. co-chairs:
The EU co-chairs are:
The TTC has stood up 10 working groups, co-led by relevant Departments, Agencies and Services of the U.S. Government and European Commission. These working groups will focus on tech standards, climate and green tech, secure supply chains, information and communications technology and services (ICTS) security and competitiveness, data governance and tech platform regulation, misuse of technology threatening security and human rights, export controls, investment screening, promoting SME access to and use of digital technologies, and global trade challenges. Stakeholder engagement is critical to the success of these efforts. Stakeholders may connect with five of the ten U.S. working groups at the below listed email.
The U.S. government officials participating in the TTC can be contacted by using the appropriate email address.
To contact U.S. TTC participants:
To contact the U.S. TTC about U.S. led TTC events:
To contact the U.S. TTC working groups*:
*Note: To contact the U.S. Government leads of the other five working groups, please email TTC_US@doc.gov.
Other useful email addresses:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Roadmap and Pilot Project on Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and Collaboration on AI and Computing Research for the Public Good
To fulfill our commitment on developing and implementing trustworthy AI, the United States and the European Union have issued a first Joint Roadmap on Evaluation and Measurement Tools for Trustworthy AI and Risk Management (AI Roadmap) and collected perspectives from relevant stakeholders. This roadmap will inform our approaches to AI risk management and trustworthy AI on both sides of the Atlantic, and advance collaborative approaches in international standards bodies related to AI. In conjunction with this effort, we aim to build a shared repository of metrics for measuring AI trustworthiness and risk management methods, which would support ongoing work in other settings such as the OECD and GPAI. Our cooperation will enable trustworthy AI systems that enhance innovation, lower barriers to trade, bolster market competition, operationalise common values, and protect the universal human rights and dignity of our citizens.
Recognising the importance of privacy in advancing responsible AI development, the European Union and the United States will work on a pilot project to assess the use of privacy-enhancing technologies and synthetic data in health and medicine, in line with applicable data protection rules.
A joint study on the impact of AI on the workforce was finalised, with EU and US case studies on hiring and logistics.
The European Commission and the United States intend to bring together experts to explore collaboration on research projects in artificial intelligence and computing, that can benefit other partner countries and the global scientific community. This cooperation will aim at jointly addressing challenges in key focus areas, such as extreme weather and climate forecasting; health and medicine; electric grid optimisation; agriculture optimisation; and emergency response management.
At the first meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Pittsburgh, the EU and the US agreed on concrete deliverables and outlined the future scope of work. Notably, the EU and the US committed to cooperating closely on shared priorities such as export controls, foreign investment screening, critical and emerging technology standards including Artificial Intelligence, and secure supply chains including on semiconductors. They also agreed to work together on important global trade issues, such as the challenges posed by non-market economies and trade-related climate and environment issues, as well as avoiding unnecessary trade barriers on new technologies and promoting fundamental labour rights.
The EU and the US have today reaffirmed their close cooperation to address global trade and technology challenges in line with their shared commitment to democracy, freedom and human rights. Meeting at the second Ministerial Meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Paris, both parties reiterated the central role of the TTC for the renewed transatlantic partnership, which has already served to coordinate joint measures being taken by the EU and the US in face of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. . . .
Artificial Intelligence - Both parties further discussed the implementation of common AI principles and agreed to develop a joint roadmap on evaluation and measurement tools for trustworthy AI and risk management.
We write to you, on behalf of the Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP), regarding the upcoming meeting of the US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Washington, DC, and the need to advance democratic values and universal human rights in the transatlantic alliance. . . .
We concluded the report Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values, “in the age of AI, the ability of the European Union, the United States, and allies to work in common purpose remains central.” We also identified the AI Bill of Rights as possibly the most significant AI policy initiative in the United States. . . .
The TTC key’s role, made clear by EU and US leaders, is to in safeguard shared democratic values. Following from this mandate, we urge the TTC to take the following concrete actions:
1) Implement the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights
2) Implement the OECD Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence
3) Suspend the use of facial surveillance technologies
4) Improve public participation in the formation of national AI policy on the U.S. side . . .
We urge the leading democratic nations to ensure that the public continues to have a meaningful opportunity to take part in the shaping of national AI policies. The rapid deployment of AI is having a profound impact on our societies, and there is widespread concern about the AI future, particularly in the United States.
In June 2021, the U.S. and the European Union established the EU- U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) to “strengthen global cooperation on technology, digital issues, and supply chains” and “with the aim of promoting a democratic model of digital governance.”[FN1] At the TTC’s inaugural meeting, the U.S. and EU acknowledged that “AI technologies yield powerful advances but can also threaten our shared values and fundamental freedoms” and committed to “develop and implement AI systems that are innovative and trustworthy and that respect universal human rights and shared democratic values.
The U.S. and EU also expressed “significant concerns” with the use of “social scoring systems with an aim to implement social control at scale.” Noting that such uses of AI “pose threats to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” the TTC stated its opposition to the use of AI for social scoring or other “rights-violating systems.” Finally, the TTC outlined areas of U.S.- EU cooperation, including “responsible stewardship of trustworthy AI” through the OECD AI Recommendations, “measurement and evaluation tools” to assess accuracy and bias, and the development of “AI technologies designed to enhance privacy protections.”
The U.S. has made progress in support of the TTC’s goals. In December 2021, the Biden Administration announced an initiative to encourage development of “Democracy-Affirming Technologies,” that support democratic values and governance.[FN2] Relatedly, the U.S. and UK announced plans to promote Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), including low-data AI, the deletion of unnecessary data, and techniques for robust anonymity.[FN3]
Also in December 2021, the EU-U.S. Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue was launched by the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and the European Commission. The Joint Dialogue is intended to align with the E.U.-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC)’s goals through coordination “as much as possible on policy and enforcement,” “especially in technology sectors,” and by promoting “greater alignment” between the U.S. and EU.[FN4]
Source: Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values 471-472 (CAIDP 2022)
[FN1] - The White House, U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Inaugural Joint Statement (Sept. 29, 2021), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements- releases/2021/06/15/u-s-eu-summit-statement/
[FN2] - The White House, Fact Sheet: Announcing the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal (Dec. 9, 2021) https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing- room/statements-releases/2021/12/09/fact-sheet-announcing-the-presidential-initiative- for-democratic-renewal/
[FN3] - The White House, US and UK to Partner on Prize Challenges to Advance Privacy- Enhancing Technologies (Dec. 8, 2021) https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news- updates/2021/12/08/us-and-uk-to-partner-on-a-prize-challenges-to-advance-privacy- enhancing-technologies/
[FN4] - the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the United States Federal Trade Commission. EU-U.S. Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue Inaugural Joint Statement between the European Commission (Dec. 7, 2021) https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1598739/eu- us_joint_dialogue_statement_12721.pdf
We support the goal of the Trade and Technology Council to strengthen the transatlantic alliance on digital policy, and to promote trustworthy AI. Democratic governments should also work together to ensure that democratic values are preserved as technology moves forward. . . .
We also call your attention to the recent report of UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet. Commissioner Bachelet urged a moratorium on the sale and use of AI that pose a serious risk to human rights until adequate safeguards are put in place. She also called for a ban on AI applications that do not comply with international human rights law. . . .
We fully support the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Commissioner and urge the TTC to issue a similar statement. Now would be the appropriate time for the EU and the US to suspend the use of facial surveillance and to commit to align the development of AI systems with democratic values and international human rights law. . . .
. . . So it’s time to take stock of progress toward a Transatlantic Accord on AI between the U.S. and EU as they seek to advance their joint commitment to drive digital transformation and cooperate on new technologies based on shared democratic values, including respect for human rights. Despite the earlier statements, it’s not clear that significant progress on an accord will emerge from the upcoming Council meeting, which aims to deal with a raft of tech-related issues. . . .
The Trade and Technology Council was set up at the June 2021 EU-US summit and serves as a forum for the European Union and the United States to coordinate approaches to key global trade, economic, and technology issues and to deepen transatlantic trade and economic relations based on shared democratic values. The EU and US are committed to working with the stakeholder community to carry out this work. To support us in this endeavour, we invite you to engage in this Community and in the subgroups that reflect the different working groups of the TTC. The About section contains instructions on how to join groups and post content.
Source: European Commission, Futurism
TACD has developed four recommendations to make sure that this new cooperation agenda will deliver to consumers:
1. The overall process should be transparent and involve public interest groups in a meaningful way.
2. The cooperation on health should seek to ensure access to safe and affordable medicines for all.
3. The cooperation on sustainability should explore how the green transition will include consumer protections and incentives, notably by cooperating on sustainable finance.
4. The joint technology competition dialogue and various Trade and Technology Council (TTC) working groups should pave the way towards a rights-respecting digital environment and fairer and safer markets for consumers.
Most importantly, the cooperation agenda must remain a platform to inform and exchange good practices, not a tool to influence each other’s legislative processes or deter each other from improving protections.