Biden Willing to Make Adjustments, Not Major Changes, to Controversial Climate Subsidies Macron Opposes



President Joe Biden has acknowledged that he is open to minor adjustments to his climate policy to address concerns raised by European allies, particularly France. French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, arguing that it provides an unfair advantage to U.S. companies in the green energy sector. Despite this, Biden emphasized that the core of the policy will remain, but may consider exceptions for European companies whom he never intended to exclude.

President Biden Open to Climate Policy Changes Amidst European Concerns

US President Joe Biden expressed openness to modifying his pivotal climate policy to accommodate European allies who criticize incentives targeting US green technology manufacturing, including electric vehicles. However, Biden emphasized that the policy’s core will remain intact.

Biden, standing alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at a White House bilateral meeting, defended the legislation.

Macron took issue with the Inflation Reduction Act, suggesting it provides American firms an unfair advantage in the emerging green energy market. Biden mentioned the leaders engaged in an in-depth discussion about the policy.

Biden Acknowledges Potential Faults in Major Climate Law

The Inflation Reduction Act, which saw congressional approval this year, allocates a record $369 billion for climate change matters. It offers massive incentives for US firms to manufacture electric vehicles, batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines domestically.

European Union nations, including France, believe the US-focused policies could exclude their companies from the green energy sector, potentially sparking a trade dispute. Biden conceded the policy may contain faults due to its wide scope, but emphasized he never intended to exclude European companies.

“There’s a lot we can work out,” Biden said. “We’re going to ensure that the US continues to be self-reliant in supply chains, much like I hope Europe will be.”

Macron Advocates for Collaborative Approach

Through a translator, Macron stated he and Biden agreed to coordinate their tactics to invest in burgeoning semiconductor, battery, and hydrogen industries. He believes both nations share a vision to consolidate their country’s industrial sectors around clean energy.

However, Macron expressed concern for European projects that might suffer due to the substantial incentives offered to US companies under the IRA. He described the subsidies as “super aggressive” toward European companies, warning it could weaken Western unity. Despite the climate change challenges, Macron emphasized the necessity for US and France to collaborate.

The Larger Picture

The Inflation Reduction Act is a significant part of Biden’s legislative achievements, marking a landmark level of climate funding. Biden stands firm on his goal of job creation via a swift transition to electric vehicles and clean energy, despite opposition from Europe.

Macron, however, succeeded in his goal: He persuaded Biden to publicly express willingness to adjust the policy to provide European companies an opportunity to compete for energy subsidies.

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