EU Commission head, US president meet at White House to discuss trade dispute

Biden, von der Leyen agreed to launch clean energy talks; begin negotiations on targeted critical minerals

11:49 - 11/03/2023 Saturday
File photo
File photo

US President Joe Biden welcomed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to the White House on Friday where they discussed US-EU tension on trade and the Russian war in Ukraine.

The EU official stressed ahead of the meeting the importance of shared support for Ukraine and making "Russia pay for its atrocious war.”

Biden said his administration is committed to a "new era of understanding" between the EU and the US.

He said the US views the EU as a "great addition" to the economy and security while also noting the efforts to support Ukraine.​​​​​​​

- US-EU trade dispute

The visit comes amid tensions about trade concerns due to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which brings in more than $300 billion to tackle climate change and promote green technology, such as electric vehicles, caused disputes between both sides of the Atlantic as EU officials are concerned it could harm Europe's economy.

Following the meeting at the White House, the EU official told reporters that it was "very constructive" and they discussed four different topics, including the IRA.

"Today we agreed that we will work on critical raw materials that have been sourced or processed in the European Union and to give them access to the American market as if they were sourced in the American market. We will work on an agreement," she said.

A joint statement released following the meeting von der Leyen ​​​​​​​said the US and the EU are intending to "immediately begin negotiations" on a targeted critical minerals agreement related to IRA's clean vehicles requirements.

"This kind of agreement would further our shared goals of boosting our mineral production and processing and expanding access to sources of critical minerals that are sustainable, trusted, and free of labor abuses," it said. "Cooperation is also necessary to reduce unwanted strategic dependencies in these supply chains, and to ensure that they are diversified and developed with trusted partners.”

The US and the European Commission also announced the launch of the "Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue" and agreed to take steps to "avoid any disruptions in transatlantic trade and investment flows that could arise from their respective incentives," according to a statement.

"The Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue will become a part of the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council where it will also facilitate information-sharing on non-market policies and practices of third parties—such as those employed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—to serve as the basis for joint or parallel action and coordinated advocacy on these issues in multilateral or other fora," it said.

- Russian war in Ukraine

Biden and von der Leyen also discussed a "united stand" against Russian attacks on Ukraine.

"Putin thought that he would divide us, and yet we are more united than ever. We stand together in our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes," according to a joint statement.

On reducing Europe's dependence on Russian energy, the statement noted that the US liquefied natural gas supplies to Europe more than doubled the baseline pledge.

"We will continue to work together to advance energy security and sustainability in Europe by diversifying sources, lowering energy consumption, and reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels," said the statement. "We will also continue our close coordination to support Ukraine’s energy security through its further integration into Europe’s energy markets. We will continue our cooperation for stable and balanced global markets and security of supply and step up the clean energy transition globally, including by efforts to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector."

- Sanctions

Among other topics they discussed were sanctions against Russia and they said the US and the US are "deepening our joint work" to enforce sanctions.

"As part of this, we are taking new steps together to target additional third-country actors across the globe to disrupt support for Russia’s war from any corner of the world where it is identified," said the statement.

"We are working in lockstep to limit Russian revenue even further while ensuring continued energy supplies to emerging market and developing countries via the G7 price cap for seaborne Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products. We will continue to work together to strengthen our economic restrictions to ensure that the costs to Russia of its illegal war continue to grow," it added.

The two also reaffirmed their cooperation to "strengthen our economic security and national security."

#EU Commission
#Ursula von der Leyen
#Joe Biden
1 year ago