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‘To Hell With That,’ Biden Dismisses Foreign Complaints About US Climate Policy

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(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden sharply dismissed criticism that his signature legislative accomplishments are too protectionist, even as US allies complain the policies could cut them out of valuable trade deals.

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“You see I’m getting criticized internationally for focusing too much on America — to hell with that,” Biden told union workers in Virginia on Thursday. “This is real serious.”

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Biden said democratic nations would “benefit from what we’re doing,” but that he intended to make sure that supply chains “end with us.”

The US and European Union are discussing a possible deal that would allow European firms to qualify for clean-energy subsidies provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation provides roughly $500 billion in new spending and tax breaks over a decade to promote US manufacturing and services, but the EU — which does not have a free-trade agreement with the US — currently wouldn’t qualify for certain exceptions in the law.

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US, EU Discuss Minerals Deal to Widen Scope of Green Credits (1)

The EU and US have set up a task force to try to address European concerns about implementation of the law, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said she believes there could be new deals related to minerals that would assuage some concerns. 

Some automakers have complained that their vehicles wouldn’t be eligible for a tax credit up to $7,500 for electric vehicles assembled in North America if the raw materials in the batteries aren’t extracted or processed in the US.

Biden was more amicable a month ago, when he hosted French president Emmanuel Macron at the White House and said the IRA’s policies weren’t intended to exclude European allies.

“There are tweaks that we can make that can fundamentally make it easier for European countries to participate,” Biden said at the time.


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