AICGS News

Peter Rashish Interviewed on Artificial Intelligence, China, and Trade Policy

Peter S. Rashish

Senior Fellow; Director, Geoeconomics Program

Peter S. Rashish, who counts over 25 years of experience counseling corporations, think tanks, foundations, and international organizations on transatlantic trade and economic strategy, is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Geoeconomics Program at AICGS. He also writes The Wider Atlantic blog.

Mr. Rashish has served as Vice President for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he spearheaded the Chamber’s advocacy for a strategic trade agreement between the United States and the European Union—later officially launched as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership—and developed new engagements in the continent’s emerging markets.

Previously, Mr. Rashish was a Senior Advisor for Europe at McLarty Associates, and has held positions as Executive Vice President of the European Institute, on the Paris-based staff of the International Energy Agency, and as a consultant to the World Bank, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Mr. Rashish has testified on the euro zone and U.S.-European economic relations before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia and has advised three U.S. presidential campaigns. He has been a member of the faculty at the Salzburg Global Seminar and a speaker at the Aspen Ideas Festival and the G20 Japan Think Tank Summit. His commentaries have been published in The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest, and he has appeared on PBS, CNBC, CNN, and NPR.

He earned a BA from Harvard College and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University. He speaks French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

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prashish@aicgs.org

Peter Rashish, Director of the AICGS Geoeconomics Program, spoke with the Italian news site Formiche.net about artificial intelligence, China, and trade policy.

His comments were originally published in Italian, which can be found here. Below is an English version of the text.

On Artificial Intelligence

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s statement about the EU’s AI initiative is important for two reasons. First, it indicates that the Biden administration is committed to aligning the U.S. and EU approaches to AI before either side moves too far on its own; in the past it has been difficult to find transatlantic common ground on regulatory issues, for example on food or chemicals, when U.S. or EU positions are already well established. Second, Sullivan is endorsing an approach to AI that puts values first—for example, trust and the centrality of the individual. These concerns are also driving the EU’s strategy. AI now seems likely to be one of the major areas where the United States and the European Union will compete over values with China, which clearly offers an alternative vision of AI based on state control.

On China

In general, the United States will have the best chance of success in forging a common approach with the EU on China if it puts shared transatlantic economic interests in the forefront, rather than hostility to China. But in some areas the United Sates and the EU already seem to be moving in the same direction. Both of their trade authorities have expressed an interest in cooperating with partners on trade enforcement measures, which would have a bigger effect on China than if they acted alone. And the United States and the European Union are both making efforts to increase the security and sustainability of their supply chains. This includes an environmental protection aspect, but also a desire to make trade in medical goods or high technology components less dependent on a single supplier like China. Biden agreed to work together with Japan on supply chain issues when he met with Prime Minister Suga at the White House and it should be possible to do something similar with the EU.

On Trade Policy

The trilateral process among the United States, the EU, and Japan is the one good thing on trade policy to come out of the Trump administration. But it needs to go further. The three economies need to update their concept of what constitutes a subsidy or a state-owned enterprise so that future trade rules cover more of China’s economic behavior. They will also need to be realistic: the chances of agreeing new rules in the WTO aren’t good for the moment, so they should sign a plurilateral agreement among themselves. It should include a commitment to harmonizing their approaches to enforcement of their trade policies, which they should consider applying not only among themselves but also to third countries. And once that deal is agreed, they should invite other, like-minded countries like Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Australia to join, which would give it even greater impact.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.