Biden promises Macron changes to anti-inflation package in favor of Europe
Berlin US President Joe Biden has used the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macronto appease Europeans’ anger at America’s anti-inflation package. “We can make changes that make it easier for European countries to get involved,” Biden said. He spoke to Macron for a long time about this topic.
The legislative package contains a few small errors that could be fixed. Congress passed the $430 billion bill to tackle climate change and boost renewable energy and semiconductor manufacturing.
According to European leaders, the anti-inflation package with massive subsidies for US-made products puts European companies at a disadvantage.
At a meeting with US officials on Wednesday, President Macron criticized the American legislative package as “super aggressive” towards European companies, according to insiders. On Thursday, Macron said France did not come to Washington to request an exemption for its economy, but to provide information on the impact of the law.
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According to the French Treasury Ministry, the two presidents have made great strides in mitigating the impact of the legislative package on European allies.
Breton criticizes “additional tax”
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton had previously asked the government in Washington to give in on the matter. “It cannot be the case that every US citizen gets a bonus of $7,500 if they buy a US-made electric vehicle,” Breton told the newspapers of the Funke media group and the French newspaper “Ouest-France”, according to the preliminary report. These payments acted like an additional tax for European manufacturers.
“We have to create a level playing field. If we don’t solve the conflict, the damage will be great for both sides,” said the French EU internal market commissioner. The conflict could end up before the World Trade Organization. But it takes at least five years for an arbitral award. It is therefore better to resolve the conflict now.
Breton also calls on Europeans to be more self-confident in their dealings with China. “We can no longer be naïve in dealing with China. Economic dependence can be used as a weapon,” he said. The European single market is of the utmost importance for China. If access were denied, it would be a disaster for China.
Breton urges caution when Chinese state-owned companies are involved in critical infrastructure in Europe. Holdings of less than 25 percent, as is the aim at the Hamburg port terminal, are justifiable. “Above this threshold, a financial investment turns into a strategic investment. We should avoid that.”
Dealing with China is about a balance of power. “Europe is a very important continent – the largest democracy in the world. The more united we are, the stronger we are,” said Breton.
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