How should the EU respond to foreign subsidies in the tech sector?
Due to geopolitical gambits and renewed interest in activist industrial policy, public subsidies are once again both a policy option and a concern.
The tech industry, which is relatively spared from market distortions, is at the centre of attention. Securing indigenous capabilities in critical or emerging technologies like AI, 5G, automation, or chipset-fabrication is a national objective in East and West. Some of these ambitions could very well tip the level playing field, detrimental to European interests.
As a supplement to existing WTO rules and EU trade instruments, including countervailing duties (on goods), the European Commission has proposed a new regulation to investigate and rectify the negative impact of non-EU subsidies on acquisitions, public procurement and other situations. Given how the ICT industry thrives thanks to scale, it is likely a subject for further scrutiny. Not least given the plans for direct support for the industry in both the US and China.
– When are foreign subsidies distortive or benevolent to the EU Single Market?
– What does competition policy add to existing multilateral rules and EU disciplines? Are we doing enough?
– How can market economies deal with state capitalism: Are some governments trying to fight fire with fire?
Join us for a conversation with Eddy De Smijter, Head of Unit for International Relations, DG Competition, European Commission and the representatives of the European ICT industry. The discussion will be led by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of ECIPE.