Washington, Dec. 1
Xinhua News Agency reporter Deng Xianlai Xu Yuan
US President Biden and visiting French President Macron on December 1 The White House held talks, and the two sides failed to effectively resolve major differences surrounding the US “Inflation Reduction Act”. Macron emphasized that the US subsidy measures will actually lead to the end of the new energy projects being promoted in Europe. Biden said that he would not “apologize” for the dissatisfaction of European countries caused by the local subsidy policy in the bill, but he could “fine-tune” the content of the bill.
Analysts pointed out that the United States has always been willing to harm the interests of its allies in order to safeguard its own interests. Its “Inflation Reduction Act” was launched at a time when Europe was facing an energy crisis and people’s livelihood was in trouble. It will make the European economy worse, and thus arouse strong dissatisfaction among European countries. Although Macron’s trip to the United States received verbal reassurance from the United States, it failed to truly resolve the trade differences between the United States and Europe. Transatlantic relations still face severe challenges in the future.
According to Reuters, before Macron’s visit to the United States, French officials stated that Macron intends to “confront” Biden with discriminatory subsidies contained in the “Inflation Reduction Act”.
In August of this year, Biden signed the “Inflation Reduction Act” , Introducing a large number of incentives, including high subsidies, to promote the production and application of electric vehicles and other green technologies in the United States. The United States claims that the bill aims to revive the US economy, which is plagued by persistent high inflation. After the meeting with Macron this time, Biden once again emphasized that the purpose of the US is not to exclude Europe from the relevant trade. White House Press Secretary Karina Jean-Pierre even declared that the United States’ promotion of green industry development “means great opportunities for European companies and is also conducive to European energy security.”
However, European countries do not think so. They angrily accused the bill of containing protectionist policies in an attempt to give American companies a competitive advantage at the expense of European industry. On November 21, before his visit to the United States, Macron held a dinner with some European business leaders in an attempt to persuade them not to transfer production to the United States.
During this visit, Macron has outspokenly asked the United States to show more respect to friendly countries. On November 30, Macron pointed out in a meeting with bipartisan members of the U.S. Congress and business leaders that the industrial subsidy policy in the “Inflation Reduction Act” is “super offensive” to European companies and is a way to harm European interests. America’s problem. “The consequence of the Inflation Cutting Act is that you may have solved your own problems and increased ours.”
Later in the day, Macron in France The embassy in the United States delivered a speech, again referring to the “discriminatory subsidies” of the United States, warning that this may become a “problem” in the relationship between the United States and Europe, which in turn will lead to “division of the Western world”.
Analysts believe that the industrial subsidy policy is related to the major interests of the United States and Europe. Although the United States does not want to damage the relationship between the United States and Europe because of this matter, it is unlikely to make substantive concessions. Therefore, transatlantic relations may continue to be tense around this issue for some time to come.
Agence France-Presse commented that although Biden received Macron with a high standard this time, intending to show the “warm relationship” between the two sides, Macron’s statement “teared up the Partial veneer of a well-orchestrated visit,” touching on “thorny issues” in U.S.-EU relations.
Ke Ke, Researcher, Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland, USA Ramsey told Xinhua that the current trade dispute between the US and Europe is by no means as simple as a “squabble”. The U.S. Congress enacted the “Inflation Reduction Act”, indicating that the U.S. is determined to build a local manufacturing base, and EU companies may be at a disadvantage in the U.S. market.
The website of the French “Viewpoint” weekly magazine published an article pointing out that after the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, the United States has reaped the benefits, enjoys autonomy in energy, and occupies a dominant position in the fields of technology and armaments. Europe, on the other hand, is on the contrary. Not only has it been hit hard by the energy crisis by following the U.S. sanctions against Russia, but the European Central Bank is also in trouble under the pressure of the Fed to raise interest rates: if it follows the Fed to raise interest rates, it will face the risk of accelerated economic recession; If monetary policy is not tightened quickly, the stagflation problem in Europe may intensify and the euro will depreciate further. Under the impact of multiple crises, Europe is facing a major threat to industry, employment opportunities and capital flow to the United States.
According to the British “Financial Times” website, as some companies shift production to the United States due to the US subsidy policy, France is estimated to lose 8 billion euros. This means that the risk of a trade war between the European Union and the United States is increasing.
European countries have recently expressed their dissatisfaction with the “Inflation Reduction Act”, expressing that they will take measures to fight back against the United States. French “Le Monde” published an editorial on December 1, stating that EU countries have reasons to protest against such blatant protectionist behavior by the United States that violates World Trade Organization rules.
French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire and German Minister of Economics and Climate Protection Robert Habeck issued a joint statement on November 22, expressing the hope of closer cooperation. Cooperate and coordinate positions to address challenges such as the U.S. Inflation Cut Act. According to the French “Echo” website report, France and Germany said they would not rule out increasing aid to European companies.
Officials from several EU countries stated that the dispute caused by the US’ proposed high subsidies to the local electric vehicle industry must be resolved as soon as possible, otherwise the EU will take countermeasures. “We cannot wait too long … it is necessary to act in the short term,” said Johan Fussel, Sweden’s foreign trade minister and international development cooperation minister.
According to the US “Politics” website, the US-EU Trade and Technology Committee is scheduled to hold a meeting on December 5, and the EU’s goal is to pass the “US-EU” Inflation Reduction Act “Working Group” framework to resolve disputes caused by the bill. But that target is expected to be difficult to achieve, given factors including growing anger among EU member states over U.S. subsidy policies.
In this regard, the website of the British “Economist” magazine commented that the “economic nationalism” of the United States may blow a whirlwind of trade protectionism on both sides of the Atlantic, which will intensify the US Tensions between Europe. (Participating reporter: Tang Ji)