European Union officials are reportedly enraged with the Biden administration over the way it’s profiting from the war in Ukraine at the expense of everybody else.
“The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior EU official told Politico.
“We are really at a historic juncture. America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries,” the official added.
Shifting specifically toward hostility as the Europeans grow fed up with President Joe Biden and his administration’s bull.
There are three primary points of contention that the Europeans have raised: gas prices, weapon sales, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Nine months after invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is beginning to fracture the West.
European officials are furious with the US administration, accusing Americans of making a fortune from the war while EU countries suffer. https://t.co/4eeoQmp3xz
— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) November 25, 2022
As Europe has slowly weaned itself off Russian energy, it’s become more reliant on U.S. gas. The problem is the Biden administration is charging the Europeans four times as much as U.S. consumers pay for the same gas.
“It’s all got too much for top officials in Brussels and other EU capitals. French President Emmanuel Macron said high U.S. gas prices were not ‘friendly’ and Germany’s economy minister has called on Washington to show more ‘solidarity’ and help reduce energy costs,” according to Politico.
“Ministers and diplomats based elsewhere in the bloc voiced frustration at the way Biden’s government simply ignores the impact of its domestic economic policies on European allies,” Politico notes.
Indeed, in a statement to Politico, a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson outright rejected the EU’s complaints
“The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s energy war against Europe, period,” the spokesperson said.
It appears that the Biden administration is treating its foreign critics exactly as it treats its domestic critics: By simply dismissing or outright ignoring them.
“EU ministers and diplomats voiced frustration at the way Biden govt simply ignores the impact of its domestic economic policies on European allies. When EU leaders tackled Biden over high US gas prices at Bali last week, Biden simply seemed unaware of the issue.”
— Sreemoy Talukdar (@sreemoytalukdar) November 26, 2022
Europeans contend that the Biden administration is also profiting mightily from its weapon sales to Ukraine.
“The U.S. has by far been the largest provider of military aid to Ukraine, supplying more than $15.2 billion in weapons and equipment since the start of the war. The EU has so far provided about €8 billion of military equipment to Ukraine,” Politico notes.
“According to one senior official from a European capital, restocking of some sophisticated weapons may take ‘years’ because of problems in the supply chain and the production of chips. This has fueled fears that the U.S. defense industry can profit even more from the war,” according to Politico.
The flow of weapons comes as the Biden administration seeks to pass an additional $37 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. https://t.co/34sFOv5Mjh
— 21Alive News (@ABC21WPTA) November 23, 2022
Inflation Reduction Act
Last up is the Inflation Reduction Act, which, as previously reported, has nothing to do with inflation and is, instead, a bill full of climate-related initiatives.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is very worrying. The potential impact on the European economy is very big,” Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher said to Politico.
“The U.S. is following a domestic agenda, which is regrettably protectionist and discriminates against U.S. allies,” Tonino Picula, the European Parliament’s lead person on the transatlantic relationship, added.
“The Inflation Reduction Act has changed everything. Is Washington still our ally or not?” another official, this one an unnamed EU diplomat, said.
The trouble is that, while the Biden administration reportedly views the Inflation Reduction Act as a historic climate achievement, Europeans see it as a “discriminatory” bill that screws over Europe.
Why? Because the bill, as an example, grants a subsidy to anyone who buys an electric vehicle whose battery was built in North America.
The European Union submitted public comment to the IRS saying the Inflation Reduction Act breaks World Trade Organization trading rules. The EU calling the Inflation Reduction Act discriminatory against EU companies and products. #EU #InflationReductionAct #GreenEnergy #Economy
— Edward Lawrence (@EdwardLawrence) November 7, 2022
“The biggest point of tension in recent weeks has been Biden’s green subsidies and taxes that Brussels says unfairly tilt trade away from the EU and threaten to destroy European industries. Despite formal objections from Europe, Washington has so far shown no sign of backing down,” Politico notes.
“French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire this week even accused the U.S. of going down China’s path of economic isolationism, urging Brussels to replicate such an approach. ‘Europe must not be the last of the Mohicans,’ he said,” according to the outlet.
Fast-forward to this Friday, when EU trade ministers reportedly threatened to respond by fighting fire with fire.
“Nobody wants to get into a tit-for-tat or subsidy race. But what the U.S. has done really isn’t consistent with the principles of free trade and fair competition,” Irish Trade Minister Leo Varadkar warned, as reported by the Associated Press.
“What we are asking for is fairness. We want and expect European companies and exports to be treated in the same way in the U.S. as American companies and exports are treated in Europe,” EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis added.
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