The American president received the president of the European Commission on Washington on Friday, March 10. At the heart of the discussions, the American plan to assist the energy transition, whose Europeans fear the effects on their economy.
Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen promised Washington on Friday to avoid deleterious competition in the race for the energy transition, which must go through an agreement on certain metals and a dialogue pushed on public aid on both sides and others.
When the President of the United States received the president of the European Commission by the fireside, in the oval office, there was no doubt that the main subject would be “inflation Reduction Act”. It is a huge plan of energy transition aid launched by Joe Biden, supporting without complex the “made in America” in particular via tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, and whose European industrialists apprehend the harmful effects on the European market.
To temper these fears at least a little, the two leaders promised, in a joint press release at the end of their meeting, to “start immediately to negotiate for a targeted agreement on strategic metals” of the transition energy.
Avoid a competition
Joe Biden does not intend to modify her program a lot. He nevertheless promised the European leader to “work to avoid a zero sum competition, so that our public aid policies support the development of clean energy and employment without becoming aubaine for private interests”, according to their joint press release.
Before the bilateral meeting begins, Joe Biden had recalled that he had promised his interlocutor a “new era” in the transatlantic relationship, harshly experienced by his predecessor Donald Trump, and praised their unity in the face of the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.
“I want to thank you for your driving role” in the conclusion of an agreement with the United Kingdom on the delicate question of the North Irish border after Brexit, said the American president, who follows this subject very closely. The United States and the European Union “are good friends,” said Ursula von der Leyen, ensuring that it is “very grateful” for the aid provided by the Americans to reduce European dependence on Russian gas.
Ukraine was also on the menu for discussions, the day after a massive salvo of Russian missiles against the country. “We are together in flawless support in Ukraine, as long as it takes,” reads the common press release. Ursula von der Leyen indicated that there had been a question of sanctions against Russia, their “implementation” and the means to prevent them from being bypassed.
China, absent Official declarations
At a time when the United States openly accuses Beijing of considering military aid for Russia, Washington would like to finally convince the European Union of adopting a firmer position against Beijing. But the joint press release of Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen has at most an allusion coded to China. The two leaders expressed their “shared concerns in the face of the challenge, among other things, represents economic pressure policies, the instrumentalization of economic dependencies and non -competitive economic policies.” As many practices that Beijing is regularly accused of putting in work.