The United States and the European Union agreed on Monday to intensify talks to resolve EU concerns over significant subsidies to American companies contained in a US clean energy law.
Although no agreement was reached at a meeting of the bilateral Trade and Technology Council, both sides pledged to continue work on preliminary progress and said they would push for a solution. that benefits both US and EU businesses, workers and consumers as well as the climate. .
“We acknowledge the concerns of the EU and underscore our commitment to address them constructively,” the two sides said in a joint statement after the meeting at the University of Maryland in College Park, located just outside of Washington.
“We underscore the role of the TTC in achieving this goal and in supporting a successful and inclusive green transition with strong, secure and diverse supply chains that benefit businesses, workers and consumers on both sides. of the Atlantic,” he said.
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The dispute centers on the US Inflation Reduction Act which provides about $375 billion in new and extended tax credits to help the US clean energy industry as well as buyers of eligible electric vehicles made in North America.
But EU leaders have expressed concern that the subsidies would be a huge setback for European businesses. French President Emmanuel Macron raised the issue directly with President Joe Biden during his state visit to Washington last week during which Biden and other US officials said they were ready to address the issue, including the “problems” of the law.
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that as soon as the US became aware of EU concerns, it set up a task force to address them.
“Today I think we moved that discussion forward,” said Blinken, who co-chaired the meeting with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai as well as the executive vice presidents of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager.
“Coming out of these conversations and feeding into the work of the task force, I’m confident that we continue to build momentum into this conversation and work on the differences,” he said.
Vestager agreed, saying Monday’s discussion was “really helpful in showing that there is real concern.”
“To have the discussions that we had today, to have the feedback from our American partners, I think that’s critically important in strengthening the relationship that we’ve created through the Trade Council and technology,” she said.
And, she added, as the United States and the EU continue to cooperate on the issue of subsidies while opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States’ commitment United in the fight against climate change is even more welcome.
Democrats included tax credits in the sweeping climate law as a way to encourage domestic production of batteries and electric vehicles. But European and South Korean manufacturers, which sell millions of vehicles in the United States, have threatened to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization.
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And, so far, congressional Democrats have said they have no plans to reconsider the climate law, which passed after more than a year of negotiations without any Republican support.
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