Germany welcomes Biden comments amid trade dispute

The US leader acknowledged that there were ‘glitches’ in the Inflation Reduction Act, which favours US-made products.

Biden and Macron
Biden and Macron

German officials have welcomed American President Joe Biden’s apparent willingness to discuss tweaking US legislation that European leaders say unfairly discriminates against their industries.

Mr Biden acknowledged during a visit to Washington by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday that there were “glitches” in the Inflation Reduction Act, which favours American-made climate technology for products such as electric vehicles.

“There’s tweaks we can make” to satisfy allies, he said.

The European Union and senior officials in some of its 27 member nations have expressed concern that tax credits in the law would disadvantage manufacturers in Europe and break World Trade Organisation rules.

Macron and Biden
President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron toast during a State Dinner on the South Lawn of the White House (AP)

“It’s to be welcomed that President Biden said he’s taking seriously the concerns that exist in Europe, and is ready to think once more about the construction of this Inflation Reduction Act,” German government spokesman Wolfgang Buechner told reporters in Berlin.

Germany also wants to look once more at the possibility of forging a treaty between the EU and the United States to eliminate industrial tariffs, according to Mr Buechner.

“After all, such an agreement would certainly be better than a bidding competition on subsidies and protective tariffs, which some see coming our way as a result of the American Inflation Reduction Act,” he said.

German legislators have approved a free-trade deal between the European Union and Canada that will eliminate almost all customs duties and increases quotas for certain key products in their respective markets when it comes into full effect.

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