– Biden and Macron want to “synchronize” on the climate
After several weeks of tension between the United States and Europe over the consequences of Joe Biden’s major climate plan, the two heads of state sought to calm things down on Thursday.
“We have agreed to discuss practical ways to synchronize our approaches to strengthening supply chain, production and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic,” the US president said Thursday during a briefing. a joint press conference at the White House. A position echoed by the French president, who assured that the two partners would “synchronize (their) approaches and (their) agendas to invest in critical emerging industries such as semiconductors, hydrogen, batteries “.
Tensions had increased between the European Union (EU) and the United States after the vote in the summer by the American Congress on Joe Biden’s climate plan, which provides for 420 billion dollars (nearly 394 billion francs ) investments, a large part of which is in the form of subsidies and tax reductions, in particular for electric vehicles, batteries and renewable energy projects that promote “made in the USA”.
This plan has made both Brussels and European capitals jump, which see these various subsidies as “discriminatory” measures and “contrary to the rules of the World Trade Organization”. An “offensive” tone deemed “indispensable” by the entourage of the French president, the Americans having “absolutely no awareness” that these investments risk weakening European industry. “They realize that it can affect European industry and that’s not their goal at all,” said the same source, now wanting to believe in a “real awareness at the highest peak of the industry. ‘American State’.
During the joint press conference with Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, President Biden denied that he wanted the job creation hoped for in the United States by these investments to be made “at the expense of Europe”. “The United States does not have to apologize for the legislation to which you refer”, he however answered a question, evoking rather “defects” in the legislative text, which will remain to be to correct.
Little development to expect
“The principle of this text is to ensure that the United States – and I hope that Europe can do the same – no longer have to rely on anyone in terms of supply”, has explained Joe Biden. For the US president, the pandemic has underscored the US economy’s reliance on supply chains from Asia, a reliance his plan also aims to reduce.
For Emmanuel Macron, Europe must “go faster and stronger” to have “the same industrial ambition” as Washington. “We want to succeed together, not against each other,” he insisted. “We need a European response. Europe must shake its chips, ”we support in the presidential entourage.
Americans and Europeans are trying to reconcile their positions on the subject, but there is little chance that the United States will touch a very popular text in certain States now considered as key States and which is intended to be one of the markers of the mandate of the Democratic President, especially since he was won in a hard fight.
In addition, the 80-year-old Democrat will no longer have his majority in the House of Representatives from January, a result of the elections at the beginning of November which makes any attempt to modify the law all the more risky, while the Republicans have denounced the cost of the plan and reject the climate goals associated with it.
Following an exchange on Monday with the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, the American Ambassador for Trade Katherine Tai recalled the desire to “work together to strengthen mutual understanding of the legislation”.
Katherine Tai as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Commerce Minister Gina Raimondo are due to meet European Commission Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager on Monday in the suburbs of Washington, as part of the Ministerial Council of the Trade and Technology (TCC) between the United States and the EU.
The TCC was launched in mid-June 2021 in order, according to the US Department of Commerce website, to put in place common policies in the field of trade and new technologies to “improve the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy”.