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France's Macron signals electric car subsidy concern on agenda with Harris

© Reuters. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at the bilateral meeting at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 17, 2023. Michael Probst/Pool via REUTERS

By Trevor Hunnicutt

MUNICH (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron signaled on Friday that he would discuss concerns about U.S. electrical vehicle subsidies with Vice President Kamala Harris as they met during the Munich Security Conference.

“We are working hard,” on the issue, Macron said before their meeting.

While EU countries welcome the U.S. commitment to energy transition, they fear the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) $369 billion of subsidies for electric vehicles (EVs) and other clean technologies could put companies based in Europe at a disadvantage.

Harris said they were also going to discuss their commitment to supporting Ukraine against Russia’s invasion but offered no comment about the subsidy issue before reporters were ushered out of a meeting between the two leaders.

The bill is a key part of Biden’s vision to deal with climate change, reinvigorate American manufacturing and compete with China, but it has rankled allies from Brussels to Seoul.

Macron, who U.S. President Joe Biden celebrated with a lavish state dinner in December, announced around that time that the two leaders had agreed to “fix” issues about the made-in-America EV law. But a solution from Washington that would be acceptable to France has not been forthcoming in the months since.


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