The European Union is looking to quickly resolve its differences with the United States over plans to give tax credits to consumers buying electric vehicles and other green products as long as they are made in the U.S.
President Biden’s $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act passed through Congress into law this year and will take effect in January. It is expected to make the U.S. a world leader in the electric vehicle market and other green technologies and green energies.
The European Union fears this means all business will go to the U.S., and the EU will be left behind.
Czech industry and trade minister Jozef Sikela said all 27 EU members were concerned. Sikela said time was running out for the EU to bridge its differences and find a solution before December 5, when top U.S. and EU officials will meet.
Some ministers are hopeful a solution can be found before the Dec. 5 meeting. But others say no matter what, the work needs to continue beyond that.
The U.S. and EU created a joint task force earlier in November in order to address this issue. Ministers were set to be briefed on the progress made by the task force.
EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said that he and EU tech chief Margrethe Vestager would assess progress when they meet U.S. counterparts at the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on Dec. 5.
“These are no easy discussions, but they must produce concrete solutions,” he said, adding that in the current geopolitical context, with Russia’s war in Ukraine, partners should build alliances in important sectors such as renewables and batteries.
Dutch trade minister Liesje Schreinemacher said a fully-fledged trade war was in no one’s interest. She said that the EU did not discuss a deadline, and needs time to get out of this situation.