EU-US Trade and Technology Council

Employment and Social Affairs

Estimated time of reading: ~ 2 minutes

Two years after the Biden administration and the European Commission successfully put an end to the trade disputes of the Trump era, Washington and Brussels seems again at odds on the matter, this time over US electric vehicles subsidies and EU initiatives to contain US big tech companies. The December 5 gathering in the Washington area of US cabinet officials and European commissioners— the third semi-annual meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC)— should be a perfect opportunity to evaluate the status of this relations.

“The working groups are working hard to deliver a package of attractive results”, recently said EU Commission Vice President, Valdis Dombrovskis. “Our EU priorities for the TTC include a stronger focus on trade facilitating initiatives. And we want to see a greater focus on climate change. We plan to announce a Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade”, he explained, while he highlighted the problems with US Inflation Reduction Act. «Many of the green subsidies provided for in the Act discriminate against EU automotive, renewables, battery and energy-intensive industries”, he said admitting that “these are no easy discussions but they must produce concrete solutions” and stressing that “what we are asking for is fairness” as “we want and expect European companies and exports to be treated in the same way in the US as American companies and exports are treated in Europe.

In the current geopolitical context, EU and US seems to share green targets and many objectives also when it comes to energies supply diversification from Russia, but they seems to be divided on the implementation side of many economic initiatives. EU and US are strong allies and need to deepen transatlantic unity. This path was shown during French President, Emmanuel Macron, visit to Washington. US President Joe Biden said Thursday US support for green industry was not intended to be at Europe’s expense as he and French leader Emmanuel Macron pledged to surmount a serious transatlantic trade dispute.

Speaking after summit talks at the White House, both stressed cooperation amid EU concern that US’s Inflation Reduction Act was anti-competitive and would cost European jobs, especially in the energy and auto sectors. “We agreed to discuss practical steps to coordinate and align our approaches”, said Biden in a joint news conference.

Written by: Valerio Palombaro

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