Europe must stand firm against US aid to industry – POLITICO

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has called on the European Union to unite against the United States, saying Washington is subsidizing its companies under recent legislation that offers major tax breaks to vehicle buyers electrics made in the USA.

In an interview with four European media outlets, including French business media « Les Echos », Le Maire reiterated complaints about US trade policies, saying that « our industry already suffers from a competitiveness deficit linked to price differences in energy between the United States and Europe. » Chinese competition, along with the US Inflation Reduction Act, is expected to widen that gap, Le Maire added.

He then called for a « coordinated, united and strong response from the European Union vis-à-vis our American allies », adding: « Only firmness will allow us to obtain results ».

The Mayor did not rule out filing a World Trade Organization complaint against the United States when asked about it. He said « Europe must defend its interests » because it cannot expect any handouts from China or the United States itself.

The transatlantic row erupted after the passage in August of the Cut Inflation Act, a massive US tax, climate and health care package that some European leaders say is protectionist.

Asked whether France will also block aid for electric cars not manufactured on its territory if nothing is decided at European level, Le Maire replied: « We are not ruling out anything ».

The issue is expected to eclipse the upcoming Trade and Technology Council, which will take place between US and EU negotiators in early December.

In the interview, Le Maire was also asked about the Franco-German relationship, which has been cool in recent months. He said: “One thing is certain: the political will to work together is intact.

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