Google urges US to work with EU on trade

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the signing ceremony committing Google to help expand information technology education at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas on October 3, 2019.

Brandon Wade | Reuters

Google urged the Biden administration to join a technology and trade council with the European Union as law enforcement abroad pursue tougher regulation of the industry.

Karan Bhatia, from google vice president of government affairs and policy, warned in a blog post Friday that the technology trade relationship between the two governments is “fraying”. Bhatia said US policy “has largely come down to pressuring Europe to follow US supply chain initiatives”, while Europe pursues broad regulations, such as taxes. on digital services.

Bhatia said such trends are hurting both economies and will make it more difficult for them to meet new global challenges or “associate with emerging economies in Asia”.

Google’s call to the White House arrives as president Joe Biden possesses began staffing its team with well-known tech industry criticswhose sound Lina Khan, candidate for the Federal Trade Commission and National Economic Council Councilor Tim Wu. The company is facing antitrust lawsuits from several states and the Department of Justice, which began under the previous administration.

Still, Google’s appeal to the Biden administration may signal that it sees it as a potential ally in pushing back against the EU’s most impactful legislation and preventing a fragmented version of the internet across continents. The European Commission has shown a greater willingness in recent years to crack down on US-based tech companies, issuing several competition penalties to Google before the US took antitrust action against she. Yet the United States has recently strengthened law enforcement, and Biden’s recent appointments indicate the continuation of this policy.

In the blog post, Bhatia urged the Biden administration to join and expand an EU-US Trade and Technology Council proposed by the European Commission. In order to be more effective, both sides should consult before taking significant steps that could impact how the other engages in technology trade negotiations, he said. Bhatia added that this would mean the EU would have to consult the Council on whether regulations like its extensive Digital Markets Act “would reflect the EU-US values-based alliance”.

This legislation would be allow significant penalties for companies including Google for failing to conform to certain standards to prevent self-preference of their own products and services in their markets. Violations could be punished with heavy fines or even the divestment of parts of the business.

The blog was published before Bhatia’s appearance at an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Friday.

At the event, Bhatia expressed concern about internet fragmentation between countries.

“What worries me to some degree, however, are sometimes concerns about security or concerns about sovereignty, which are legitimate concerns, can spill over into fundamentally protectionist policies and which lead to fragmentation not only of the system commercial, but also of the Internet at large,” he said. “And I’m afraid we’re seeing this incredible tool that has generated so much benefit for the world, for the global economy and so on, watching a sort of collapse of international standards and with it the services and benefits that “He provided. So we have to be vigilant. It’s a concern and a risk.”

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