Biden and von der Leyen Begin New Era of Collaboration and Understanding
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is in Washington this week to meet with US President Joe Biden, in what is a key moment in relations between the European Union (EU) and the United States. This meeting is seen as an opportunity for the two leaders to come to an agreement on trade tensions and the war in Ukraine.
The two leaders have already made significant progress in their collaboration and convergence on Russia. However, significant challenges remain in terms of trade and differing views on China.
The meeting between Biden and von der Leyen is expected to address potential sanctions against China, Europe's frustration with Biden's plans to subsidize American companies under the Inflation Reduction Act, and climate challenges.
The two leaders have agreed to pursue a deal on critical raw materials for electric vehicles in hopes of relieving tension over President Joe Biden's 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which favors EVs made on U.S. soil. They also discussed working together to build out supply chains in a strong, secure, and resilient manner and to deepen their cooperation on diversifying critical mineral and battery supply chains.
The Biden administration is looking for the European Union to move closer to its more hawkish stance on China, particularly amid concerns that Beijing might do more to support Moscow. However, the EU is trying to maintain a more nuanced approach and does not want to talk about a new cold war.
The US and the EU are also working on a “transparency dialogue” around incentives that are being given to the clean tech industry. Biden and von der Leyen also discussed the idea of a “critical raw materials club” of like-minded partners to wean the transatlantic partners off of significant dependencies on China.
Finally, the two leaders agreed to work toward an agreement on critical raw materials to boost supply chains and potentially ease tensions over electric vehicle tax credits available for American companies.
The meeting between Biden and von der Leyen could offer an opportunity for the EU to get US endorsement of its idea for a “critical raw materials club” and for Washington to gain a better understanding of the European Union's stance towards Beijing. Ultimately, this meeting could be the beginning of a new era of collaboration and understanding between the two sides.
0. “Biden to Host EU Chief to Discuss China, Climate Subsidies” Voice of America – VOA News, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.voanews.com/a/biden-to-host-eu-chief-to-discuss-china-climate-subsidies-/6998195.html
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