BERLIN/WASHINGTON — German Economy Minister Robert Habeck expressed optimism before departing on a trip to the United States on Monday that a European Union trade dispute with Washington can be resolved soon.
Many EU leaders are worried the local content requirements of $369 billion of green subsidies in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act will encourage companies to relocate, making the United States a leader in green tech at Europe’s expense.
Habeck, who is slated to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday along with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, said the European Commission was taking the lead on the trade issue, but added, “We want to lend support.
“And supporting means: in the working atmosphere that we have developed, to explore ways in which the problematic parts of the Inflation Reduction Act – that is, this industrial project – can perhaps be resolved,” he said.
“And I am quite confident that maybe not today and tomorrow, but in the next few days and weeks we will succeed in finding further solutions,” he added.
Yellen welcomed the meeting with Habeck and Le Maire as part of Washington’s “ongoing and sustained engagement” on the Inflation Reduction Act and the European Union’s Green Deal Industrial Plan, a Treasury official said.
“We look forward to working with our European allies on accelerating investments in green technologies. The U.S. is committed to partnering with counterparts in Europe and globally on building resilient clean energy supply chains,” the official said. (Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Leslie Adler)