Amid trade dispute, US and EU seek minerals deal, subsidy talks

WASHINGTON: amid trade frictions, President Joe Biden and President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen held talks on Friday that could lead to negotiations on critical minerals used for electric vehicles and government subsidies, U.S. officials said.
Biden and von der Leyen are due to meet at the White House at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) amid European complaints that subsidies, including in the US Inflation Reduction Act, will divert investment of Europe and harm their economies.
Senior Biden administration officials who briefed reporters ahead of the talks said they hoped the two leaders would agree to launch negotiations on an agreement on critical minerals for electric vehicle batteries and a dialogue on ” transparency of subsidy incentives”. “This is a deal that is really focused on critical minerals for electric vehicle batteries and battery supply chains. We expect this to be a limited scope negotiation. and relevant to critical minerals that meet those needs,” an official said. .
Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a $430 billion bill that offers massive subsidies for products made in the United States and aims to address the climate crisis and promote renewable energy, has angered Europeans.
The official said the subsidy dialogue would aim to ensure that the United States and Europe are not working at cross purposes.
During a December visit by the French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House, Biden said bills aimed at boosting U.S. renewable energy and the semiconductor industry present “problems” that can be fixed.
Last month, the European Commission presented its Green Deal industrial plan in response to the US measure, with increased levels of state aid to help Europe compete as a manufacturing hub for clean technologies.
The two leaders will also discuss ways to strengthen cooperation on imposing sanctions on “third-party actors” who violate sanctions against Russia in connection with the war in Ukraine, the officials said.


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