© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Flags of the European Union flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union ministers warned on Friday that time was running out to settle differences with Washington over a US plan to offer tax credits to consumers buying electric vehicles and other electric vehicles. other green products as long as they are manufactured in North America.
The EU argues that the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which went into effect in January, would make the US the world leader in the electric vehicle market at its expense.
Czech Industry and Trade Minister Josef Sikela said all 27 EU members were concerned. He told reporters ahead of a meeting of national trade ministers that time was running out and expressed hope a solution could be found by December 5 when top US and EU officials meet. together.
Ministers are expected to be briefed on the progress made by a joint US-EU task force set up in early November to tackle the issue.
Dutch commerce minister Liesje Schreinemacher, describing the move as “very worrying”, said the task force must “go ahead” and deliver results as soon as possible.
His Swedish counterpart Johan Forssell said the timeframe was tight.
“We can’t wait too long until a decision is made… So I think the need for action will be soon,” he said.
Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said ideally the EU and the US would reach an agreement at a Trade and Technology Council meeting in December, but if no deal is reached, the EU will have to meet pay.
French Minister Olivier Becht said the US transition to a greener economy should be made on the basis of fair competition, rather than measures that violate World Trade Organization rules.
He said ministers will discuss how to persuade the US to amend its actions. Otherwise, the EU will have to consider “other measures”.
“There is a range of measures that could be on the table. The goal would not be to launch a subsidy race, which would be counterproductive,” he said.