EU MPs consider submitting a WTO complaint against US
European members of parliament suggest lodging a complaint against the US Inflation Reduction Act with World Trade Organization as Europe struggles.
Bernd Lange, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the chair of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade, stated on Sunday that the European Union should lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the US regarding the contentious Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
"The EU must swiftly file a complaint against the US with the WTO in the coming months," Lange told the press.
According to the lawmaker, the measure would make it very evident that Washington's activities are against WTO regulations.
Although "not much will substantially change, as the law has been passed," Lange argued that some modest changes to the IRA may still be negotiated. He proposed that the EU should do more to support its domestic industries.
"We also need to look at whether and how we can lower energy prices for industries, at the moment they are up to ten times higher than in the US," Lange noted.
Another EU legislator, Markus Ferber, a member of the EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, also argued for a tough stance towards Washington. If the US does not budge, Ferber added, the European Commission should consider using its trade defense instrument. He also expressed his displeasure with the present US administration's protectionist policies.
"The US Inflation Reduction Act threatens to make a difficult economic situation in Europe much worse," Ferber said.
EU commissioner for Internal Market will not attend EU-US TTC
Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, will not participate in the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Maryland, US, next week since Washington disregarded European concerns, according to US media that cited Breton's assistant on Friday.
Breton's aide argued that the US "no longer gives sufficient space to issues of concern to many European industry ministers and businesses." He even argued that some major issues that require real effort are "now limited to two hours of ministerial meetings."
The aide said that the topic of the IRA, which raised trade issues for the EU since certain member states claimed it was "unfriendly" and in violation of WTO regulations, was removed from the agenda and turned to "something discussed over a 45-minute lunch."
Brenton's aide explained, "Today, the real issue is the urgent need to preserve the competitiveness of Europe's industrial base," adding that "only Europe can and must find a rapid and appropriate response to this challenge."
Read more: Macron slams IRA subsidies on first day of state visit to Washington