French Economy Minister Le Maire announced a package of measures to increase the transfer of green industries

The new bill aims to help France become “Europe’s first low-carbon country,” according to France’s economy minister.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire unveiled a new bill on Wednesday that includes a series of incentives to encourage industries to bring manufacturing plants back to France.

“In the coming days, I will propose a bill on green sectors (…) tax, regulatory and legislative measures to speed up the installation of industries in France,” Mr. Le Maire declared during an interview with France’s Radio France. Inter.

“This bill will aim to promote green industries, production of green hydrogen and electric batteries, and of course nuclear power and renewable energies. Let’s take advantage of this moment (…) to become the first low-carbon country in Europe,” he said.

Mr Le Maire said the measures would be part of a push by France and Germany to get their EU partners to adopt a “European law to reduce inflation” that would provide “bigger, faster and easier subsidies” for green industries. .

France has been at the forefront of efforts to strengthen the EU’s response to the US’s $369 billion industrial subsidy program, known as the “Dilflation Act”, fearing that the subsidies will drive investment away from the continent.

During French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the United States in December, US President Joe Biden said his administration was ready to make “adjustments” to reduce the regime’s influence on European businesses. The EU appears to have won some concessions on US tax credits for electric cars, but France has argued that the concessions are insufficient.

EU leaders have decided to ask the European Commission to come up with proposals to boost the Union’s competitiveness amid an explosion of green subsidies in the US. These proposals are expected to be discussed at the summit of the European Council in February.

The Biden administration is bowing somewhat to pressure from Europe in the trade dispute

On Thursday, the Biden administration showed some flexibility in implementing a revised tax credit for electric vehicles in the new Inflation Reduction Act, which has drawn the ire of the European Union and other trading partners.

In a new white paper released Thursday, the Treasury Department said it would adopt a broader definition of countries that have a “free trade agreement” with the United States. That could help some foreign automakers get at least some of the credit that favors U.S.-made cars.

The department has also published guidelines for a separate tax credit for clean commercial vehicles, which is not as stringent as that applied to new car sales. This could create opportunities for foreign manufacturers through dealers who lease cars to consumers.

The EU welcomed this initiative and called it a “win-win” for both sides. “US taxpayers will be able to benefit from highly efficient vehicles and electric components manufactured in the EU, while European companies that lease advanced clean vehicles to their customers will benefit from these incentives,” he said. statement.

However, the EU said it still had concerns about a key electric vehicle tax credit included in the Inflation Reduction Act, which requires cars to be final assembled in the US, Canada or Mexico. That makes many imported cars ineligible for the $7,500 tax credit that consumers can get when they buy a new electric car. The Treasury will propose a more detailed tax credit rule in March, missing the year-end deadline set by Congress on IRAs.

The law and its new electric vehicle tax credit provision have raised trade tensions between the U.S. and other automakers such as France, Germany, South Korea and Japan. European leaders, in particular, have publicly expressed concerns to President Joe Biden that the tax credit and other IRA provisions subsidizing US clean energy could kill European industry and drive investment to the US. Lawmakers in Congress were unapologetic, saying they drafted the law to boost U.S. jobs and electric vehicle production.

“Discrimination against EU-produced clean vehicles and inputs violates international trade laws and unfairly affects EU companies in the US market, reducing choices for US consumers and ultimately reducing the climate effectiveness of this green subsidy,” the EU said in a statement on Thursday. . , welcoming the Treasury’s announcement that more time will be needed to sort out many of the remaining details.

A spokesman for the White House National Security Council said he did not expect the latest information from the Treasury Department to end the matter.

“We are committed to continuing to understand the concerns of our partners, including the US-EU Working Group.

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