A few days after the meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 in Bali, which led to an armed truce and partial détente between the United States and China, there is a danger that a new battle front will open up for Washington: not against a hostile country, but certainly unimaginable, towards European Union. Indeed, a new trade dispute could be opened with the Commission in Brussels linked to the (alleged) failure by the United States to respect the common rules of the game in terms of trade and investment promotion.
The times of Donald Trump, who deliberately opened a trade war with the European Union by targeting its imports with higher tariffs, appeared to be over when the US and EU at last year’s G-20 meeting in Rome put an end to bilateral economic tensions with the US side lifting barriers against goods. european. So it seems ironic that today, just as the two sides of the Atlantic seemed to have finally reconciled also as a result of the solidarity shown by Ukraine and hoarding in opposition to the Russian invasion, another trade dispute is about to break out. It all stems from the Lower Inflation Act, a provision the Democratic administration introduced over the summer in an effort to revive the economy with a massive program of subsidies for the US green tech industry. About $ 370 billion in subsidies for American companies, which, however, risk distorting competition, penalizing the entry of European companies into the American market.
Hence the protests of the European Union (under pressure from stronger countries, in particular France and Germany), which demand corrective measures and common rules of the game: otherwise the issue will be raised within the WTO, with the risk of starting. A legal dispute that may last more than a year and lead to a deterioration in bilateral relations. It is therefore necessary to find an agreement quickly: the opportunity will appear in a few days, given that the third meeting of the Trade and Technology Council will take place on December 5, the transatlantic consultation forum that aims precisely to mitigate the crisis. Disagreements to identify common ground aimed at strengthening economic ties and supply chains even against adversaries such as China. This does not appear to be an optimal situation for Biden who, after publicly declaring war on Beijing by restricting the export of semiconductors and high-tech components in an effort to retard China’s technological development, now risks making yet another enemy in Europe.
Therefore, there is a need to show clarity and openness to cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic. Italy, which is looking for investments in technology (in fact we are talking about huge resources that Intel, the microchip giant, can allocate to our country), could be the interpreter – as indicated so far by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni – of the European position based on Dialogue, more free from the “mandatory” coordination within the framework of the Franco-German axis and proposes itself as the third major partner of the United States in the European Union, replacing the role that previously belonged to the United Kingdom. The first test, therefore, for the new government with a strong parliamentary majority, to measure the effectiveness of its work with regard to two basic files of Italian foreign policy: the bilateral relationship with the United States of America and the attraction of foreign investments in intensive technology. Sectors on which the future of the global economy will depend.