President Joe Biden expressed confidence the United States and the European Union could work out their differences over massive new U.S. green energy subsidies, which have prompted the EU to accuse the United States of violating World Trade Organization rules with disastrous consequences for future European growth.
The United States “never intended to exclude folks who cooperated with us. That was not the intention” of the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden said at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in Washington on an official state visit. “We can work out some of the differences that exist, I’m confident.”
The Biden administration wants to create new manufacturing jobs, but not at the expense of Europe, Biden said.
Macron also sounded an optimistic note on the dispute, saying he and Biden agreed to “resynchronize our approaches” to providing government support for critical industries such as semiconductors, electric vehicle batteries and and hydrogen energy.
“Everything that is absolutely decisive, because as a matter of fact, we share the same vision and the same willingness,” Macron said.
French and European officials are concerned the $369 billion in new subsidies provided for clean technology and renewable energy in the Inflation Reduction Act will siphon investment away from Europe in favor of the United States.
They argue the blow to European industry is also coming at a particularly bad time, with European consumers and businesses already struggling with high energy prices as a result of the war in Ukraine and facing the prospect of a recession next year.
Macron has led calls for the 27-nation European Union to move ahead with its own package of green subsidies under the banner of “Buy European,” a move that a Biden administration senior official signaled that they could support.
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