< /p> Illustration photo – German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy Robert Habeck (pictured on December 22, 2022).
Washington – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck agreed today with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on full transparency regarding the massive green subsidies to companies planned by the Joe Biden administration. They told reporters after the meeting in Washington. According to them, this should enable the European Union to match the incentives that Washington will offer to its companies, writes the AFP agency.
The $370 billion green stimulus package, which includes the US Inflation Act, has raised concerns among EU states. European countries fear that because of strong American support, their companies in green sectors would become uncompetitive on international markets.
Both European ministers said they had flown to Washington to defend equal competition. “We believe there is room for both a strong American and a strong European industry in green technology,” said Le Maire, who said both the US and the EU are trying to gain more independence in supply chains in high-tech industries. According to Le Maire, the ministers made “significant progress” in the negotiations.
“Both sides agreed on full transparency and (we will create) a technical group to make this transparency work,” German minister Habeck was quoted as saying by Reuters. The United States will thus share with the EU details of the subsidies and incentives it will provide to its companies. According to French Minister Le Maire, this mechanism will allow the EU to provide its companies with “the same level of public assistance” as in the US.
The EU's response to the package of US green technology subsidies is due to be discussed by leaders at the EU summit this week. Brussels proposes changes to state aid rules. However, some countries are concerned about “subsidy races” between EU states and the advantage that could be gained by large economies with extensive fiscal capacity to pay out incentives.