SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 6 February 2023, Monday |

EU demands quick fix from U.S. of green subsidy law

Ministers from the European Union cautioned on Friday that time was running out to settle differences with Washington over American plans to offer tax credits to consumers purchasing electric automobiles and other environmentally friendly items as long as they are manufactured in North America.

The EU claims the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act, set to go into effect in January, will disadvantage it by elevating the United States to the top of the global market for electric vehicles.

Czech industry and trade minister Josef Sikela said all 27 EU members were concerned. He told reporters before a meeting of national trade ministers that time was running out and expressed hope a solution could be found by Dec. 5 when top U.S. and EU officials will meet.

Ministers were set to be briefed on the progress made by a joint U.S.-EU taskforce launched at the start of November to address the issue.

Dutch trade minister Liesje Schreinemacher, describing the act as “very worrisome”, said the taskforce had to “get a move on” and produce results as soon as possible.

Swedish counterpart Johan Forssell said the time frame was tight.

“We cannot wait too long until we make a decision… So I think the need for action will be pretty soon,” he said.

Irish deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar said the EU and the United States would ideally come to an arrangement at the meeting of the Trade and Technology Council in December, but that, failing that, the EU would have to respond.

French minister Olivier Becht said the U.S. transition towards a greener economy should be done on the basis of fair competition, rather than with measures that breached World Trade Organization rules.

He said ministers would discuss how to persuade the United States to modify its act. Otherwise, the EU would have to consider “other measures”.

“There is a range of measures that can be put on the table. The objective would not be to launch into a subsidy race, which would be counter-productive,” he said.

    Source:
  • Reuters