Pittsburgh summit goes on with France cooling down after AUKUS humiliation
The planned trade meeting between European member states and the United States, scheduled for next week in Pittsburgh, USA, will continue. The European Commission would have been divided on participation in the consultation after France proposed postponing the summit. European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening that the summit will take place.
EU sources reported on Thursday that doubts about the summit followed US president Joe Biden’s decision to conclude a defense pact with Australia and the United Kingdom without consulting the EU. The Netherlands was one of the countries that wanted the trade and Technology Council (TTC) set up in June to continue.
France, in particular, was hot about the AUKUS defense pact, which resulted in the EU losing a contract for submarines worth more than € 30 billion. The dispute between France and the US has now been settled somewhat, after a conversation between Biden and President Emmanuel Macron. But other events, such as the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, have also shocked the EU at America’s solitary behavior.
In the TTC there are ten working groups that negotiate, among other things, technological cooperation, the modernization of standards, the screening of foreign investments and export controls. According to insiders, the two major economic powers have already been able to make several agreements in recent weeks and reach an agreement on standards for artificial intelligence. This would be announced in Pittsburgh.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has said after a one-on-one meeting with his French counterpart that restoring relations with France will take time. ‘We recognize that this will require hard work, not only in words but also in deeds’, Blinken said to reporters in Washington on Thursday. He also stressed that he had ‘respect’ for Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign minister.
French President Macron was furious at the AUKUS security pact between the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, which prevented the purchase of French submarines worth more than €30 billion. The French ambassadors in the US and Australia were recalled and Le Drian spoke of ‘a dagger in the back’.
After American president Joe Biden called Macron on Wednesday, France already promised that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week.