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De-risking and friend-shoring shape Meloni-Raimondo talks

The Italian PM welcomed the US Secretary of Commerce in Rome. The two discussed G-7 priorities and their respective strategies on tech and industry (think AI and chips), as well as mutual investments. It’s all about containing Russia and China

Benvenuta, Madam Secretary! On Tuesday, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni received United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in her Roman office. The two had met just weeks before in Washington, when the former had visited President Joe Biden. According to a note from the PM’s office, they discussed the priorities of the Italian G-7 presidency before focussing on tech and trade.

  • The talk’s centrepiece: “the respective strategies and initiatives in technological and industrial sectors of priority interest, starting with semiconductors and artificial intelligence applications,” as well as “opportunities for strengthening mutual investments.”

It’s all about digital democracies. The underlying theme of these talks was how de-risking policies may limit strategic dependencies on countries like Russia and China. Bolstering the democratic front will require mutual investments in reshaping supply chains – friend-shoring. Take semiconductors: US titan Intel still hasn’t ruled out building a packaging plant in Italy, while Rome has been working to bolster its national chip ecosystem – including by partnering up with foreign players.

  • When he visited Washington last year, Enterprise Minister Adolfo Urso had spoken of  “building with the US a Western industrial […] policy that can respond to the systemic challenge of China.”

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