By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, May 13 (Reuters) – Washington and the EU will pledge joint action to tackle concerns focused on China about non-market practices and coordinate their export controls on semiconductors and other goods at a meeting this month, a draft statement showed.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and other senior officials are due to meet for the fourth edition of the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Lulea, Sweden, on May 30-31.
The draft statement seen by Reuters said the two sides would address non-market practices and economic coercion, and aim to hold regular talks on efforts to stop their companies’ knowledge linked to outbound investment supporting technologies of strategic rivals – an oblique reference to China.
They will also coordinate on their export controls on “sensitive items” – including goods that have a military use – and semiconductors, said the statement, which only mentions China twice and could still be changed before the meeting.
Brussels says it considers China a partner in some fields, an economic competitor and a strategic rival. The European Union plans to recalibrate its China policy, recognising coordination with a more hawkish United States is essential.
Highlighting the medical devices sector in China, the document said the transatlantic partners are “exploring possible actions” over the threat posed by non-market policies and practices.
They also aim to cooperate on efforts to counter foreign manipulation of information, including “China’s amplification of Russian disinformation narratives about the war” in Ukraine.
The two sides also said they were committed to working with the G7 to coordinate action to counteract acts of economic coercion, such as the trade restrictions the EU says China has imposed on EU member Lithuania.
(Reporting by Philip BlenkinsopEditing by Helen Popper)