Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and are accusing America of making a fortune from the war in Ukraine according to a report from Politico. Some of the officials swiping at Biden remained anonymous while others did so publicly.
“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 official told politico.
“We are really at a historic juncture,” the official added before complaining about trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”
The EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said, “Americans, our friends, take decisions which have an economic impact on us.”
An NSC spokesperson said:
“The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s energy war against Europe, period.
“The increase in global LNG supplies, led by the United States, helped European allies and partners get storage levels to an encouraging place ahead of this winter, and we will continue to work with the EU, its members, and other European countries to ensure sufficient supplies will be available for winter and beyond.”
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said:
“The United States sells us its gas with a multiplier effect of four when it crosses the Atlantic.
“Of course the Americans are our allies, but when something goes wrong it is necessary also between allies to say it.”
Other European officials were furious with Biden over his trade and subsidy policies.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is very worrying,” said Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher.
“The potential impact on the European economy is very big.”
“The U.S. is following a domestic agenda, which is regrettably protectionist and discriminates against U.S. allies,” said Tonino Picula, the European Parliament’s lead person on the transatlantic relationship.
According to Politico:
It wasn’t until Washington announced a $369 billion industrial subsidy scheme to support green industries under the Inflation Reduction Act that Brussels went into full-blown panic mode.
“The Inflation Reduction Act has changed everything,” one EU diplomat said. “Is Washington still our ally or not?”
For Biden, the legislation is a historic climate achievement.
“While we understand that some trading partners have concerns with how the [electric vehicle] tax credit provisions in the IRA will operate in practice with respect to their producers, we are committed to continuing to work with them to better understand and do what we can to address their concerns,” the NSC spokesperson said.
“This is not a zero-sum game. The IRA will grow the pie for clean energy investments, not split it.”
But the EU sees that differently. An official from France’s foreign affairs ministry said the diagnosis is clear: These are “discriminatory subsidies that will distort competition.”
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.