Biden and Von der Leyen are already negotiating to lower American protectionism

Biden and Von der Leyen are already negotiating to lower American protectionism

WashingtonThe European Union and the United States are beginning to reunite after months of tension produced by the Inflation Reduction Act, the package of subsidies and tax aid for green technology that Washington approved in August and which has lose competitiveness in European industry. Hours after Volkswagen announced its intention to move an electric battery plant from the EU to the US – which offers it 10 billion euros in subsidies – this Friday there was an important announcement from the White House: Washington and Brussels. they are preparing a trade agreement for cooperation in raw materials essential for the electric car.

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This has been the main result of the visit of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to the presidential office of Joe Biden, where she conveyed to him her discomfort with American protectionism and the intention to coordinate aid to the green industry: “I think it’s very good that there is such a large investment in new and clean technologies,” he said just before entering the meeting, “in fact, we want to combine it with the plan [europeu] investment Green Deal”. At the end of the meeting, he announced that the two countries have agreed to engage in a “transparent dialogue on incentives for the green energy industry”.

To counter Washington’s subsidies, the European Commission plans to unveil next week the Net-Zero Industry Act to neutralize the siren songs of the US and China, which has also offered similar incentives to community companies. This rule is expected to make the limits on aid that member states can give to companies more flexible, which France and Germany have been asking for months. In other words, the law will allow those companies that receive incentives from a third country to relocate to make counter-offers.

In addition to the negotiations that began today between the two allied blocs, there is speculation on both sides of the Atlantic that Washington and Brussels would be looking for a greater rapprochement regarding American subsidies. Although it was not confirmed during the meeting, several media say that Biden could have offered a trade exception to Von der Leyen by which European companies could have the same access to aid that countries such as Canada and Mexico already have – with with whom the US has a free trade agreement – ​​whose companies can receive up to $7.5 billion. However, with the deals announced today, the two economies have made it clear that they are looking to compete and reduce dependence on China, which completely dominates the electric battery market.


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