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Subsidy dispute: head of the EU trade committee calls for a lawsuit against the USA


Billions in subsidies for electric cars, batteries and renewable energy projects: this is how the USA attracts companies from all over the world. EU politicians fear a mass exodus of their industrial companies - and build up a threatening backdrop.

Enlarge image

Joe Biden in a General Motors electric car factory in Detroit (archive photo): The US government is offering manufacturers substantial subsidies - provided they produce in the USA.

Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The head of the Trade Committee in the EU Parliament, Bernd Lange, is calling for the United States to be sued at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for its subsidy policy.

He no longer expects a negotiated solution to the dispute between Brussels and Washington, the SPD politician told Funke Mediengruppe: "That's why I think it's necessary for the EU to file a complaint with the WTO quickly in the next few months.

This will make it clear to us that what the US is doing is clearly incompatible with WTO rules.”

Long words matter.

After all, the trade policies of the EU countries fall within the competence of the Union, which negotiates agreements with third countries for its members.

The EU thus has more weight than the individual member states in international trade talks - and Parliament has a considerable say in trade policy.

$370 billion for climate protection and energy security

For its part, the EU must strengthen the promotion of domestic industry - although it should not repeat the mistake of the USA and react with a one-sided preference for European companies, said Lange.

»We also have to examine whether and how we can reduce energy prices for industry.

At the moment they are up to ten times higher than in the USA.«

The dispute is primarily about the US package worth billions to expand renewable energies, which also places demands on local production.

It provides 370 billion dollars (around 357 billion euros) for climate protection and energy security - including subsidies for electric cars, batteries and renewable energy projects "Made in the USA".

Congress has already passed it as part of what is known as the US Inflation Reduction Act.

European countries fear corporate migration to the United States.

During a recent visit to the United States, French President Emmanuel Macron described Washington's measures as "super aggressive" and warned: "These decisions will divide the West."

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner warns of an escalation in the dispute over subsidy policy.

Germany could "have no interest in a trade war, but must rely on economic diplomacy," said the FDP leader of the "Welt am Sonntag": "The USA are our value partner." At the same time, there is "an enormously protectionist economic policy".

That is why the federal government must represent German interests in Washington and point out the negative consequences.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton calls for the establishment of a "European sovereignty fund" to support industrial projects.

The US plans would create a "competitive imbalance to the detriment of EU companies," he told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

A working group with representatives from the White House and the EU Commission has therefore already been set up.

The joint EU-US Trade and Technology Council meets on Monday.

High-ranking representatives from Washington and Brussels want to discuss European concerns here.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-12-04

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