Europe and the US have agreed to join forces to create a common set of rules to organize the market for critical minerals, according to top German official Robert Habeck. The European Union is looking for ways to qualify for benefits under the new US green investment plan and reduce its reliance on metals and raw materials from China.
Habeck and French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire met with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and senior White House aides Mike Pyle and Brian Deese in Washington for high-level meetings, where the two sides discussed a possible deal on minerals and critical raw materials that would treat EU like a free-trade partner.
Le Maire and Habeck brought the message to the meetings that they wanted more transparency from President Joe Biden’s administration on green industry subsidies in order to avoid an escalation of transatlantic trade tensions. Le Maire declared that a consensus had been achieved regarding “full transparency” and “constant communication” regarding the assistance they offer to businesses.
The two sides also agreed in principle that the “implementation of the IRA should include as many EU components as possible.” Habeck proposed creating a “critical minerals club” with the US, with the goal of diversifying supplies of critical minerals and finding ways to reduce reliance on countries such as China.
Earlier this week, the EU unveiled a road map for how it plans to keep its industries competitive as the bloc tries to catch up to the US and China, which offer huge subsidies to domestic green technologies.
It is clear that both the US and the EU are taking steps to improve cooperation on green subsidies and defuse tensions over accusations of unfair competition. Europe must now accelerate in the definition and implementation of the European Green Deal in order to ensure full independence and sovereignty when it comes to green technology.
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