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Transatlantic Tech Bridge: Digital Infrastructure and Subsea Cables, a US Perspective


The importance of digital infrastructure for global communication and connectivity is only growing. Within this varied sector, subsea cables play a central role in ensuring seamless internet traffic globally. What are the US’s strategic and economic interests in digital infrastructure, particularly subsea cables? Within the context of larger economic and geopolitical competition, US policy is multifaceted, from aiming to secure the physical security of infrastructure and guarding against espionage and technology leakage, to boosting economic competitiveness and supporting domestic firms. Overall, digital infrastructure, and undersea cables in particular, are a key element of a larger US strategy of outcompeting China. Although evaluations among allies of the relative threat posed by China and Chinese-owned digital infrastructure vary, broadly shared goals of resiliency, security, and increased connectivity mean there are potential areas for deeper EU-US cooperation, including partnerships with third countries, that align with their respective strategic visions and represent a solid base for further transatlantic coordination.

This paper is part of the project “Building a transatlantic technology bridge: challenges and opportunities”, funded by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo.

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