France concerned by US climate bill but doesn’t want ‘war’

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna awaits a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

France’s foreign minister on Friday raised the alarm about a massive US climate spending package, saying it risked unfair competition but saying Europe didn’t want a green trade war.

Parts of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which will pump $370 billion into green energy, “we believe will have an impact on the level playing field between U.S. and European actors,” said Secretary of State Catherine Colonna at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. in Washington.

Her comments are in line with German and French economics ministers who, at a meeting in Berlin this week, called for a strong response from the European Union against state aid to US green companies.

But when asked whether the tensions could fuel a new trade gap along the lines of the long confrontation between Boeing and Airbus, Colonna said, “We are certainly not looking for any war.”

She acknowledged that the European Union had also long pushed for stronger action from the United States on climate change and welcomed the landmark decision to take action.

“We won’t complain that you’re doing that acceleration that was necessary,” she said.

But she called for discussion about whether the US investment “would affect the economic alignment of our two entities, which I believe is absolutely necessary for our common prosperity down the road, especially in the current context of the war in Ukraine.”

Colonna said France valued a strong relationship with the United States. Tensions have abated since earlier in the Biden administration, when France was outraged that Australia had dropped a major French submarine deal to buy US-made nuclear models.

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“France will be a difficult ally because it always expresses its opinion,” she said.

“But it is an ally capable and willing, with a full spectrum, combat-proven militaries and a strategic culture that has always led us to assume our responsibilities.”

France and Germany ‘disagree’ on nuclear energy

© 2022 AFP

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