What Happened: EU officials have drafted a plan to respond to the U.S. government's trade policies and the growing dominance of U.S. and Chinese technology companies, Politico reported Aug. 22. Most notably, the document reportedly suggests a 100 billion-euro wealth fund to support European champions in strategic industrial sectors, among other proposals.
Why It Matters: Although European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen promised to strengthen and modernize the bloc's industrial policy, it remains unclear whether the new commission would support the ambitious plan. However, the proposal reflects growing aspirations by the European Union to increase the competitiveness of European companies, particularly in the technology sector, amid the bloc's struggles to establish national champions to better compete with U.S. and Chinese firms.
Background: The new plan also includes a proposal to increase the commission's authority to unilaterally impose tariffs on U.S. imports if the World Trade Organization's dispute-settlement process comes to a halt because the United States is continuing to block the appointment of judges to the WTO's Appellate Body.