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German Minister Habeck calls for green technology cooperation with the US

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BERLIN (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck called for green investment cooperation between Europe and the United States ahead of meetings in Washington next week with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other officials.

“We can build a green bridge across the Atlantic and build joint green markets,” the German economy ministry said on Sunday, quoting Habeck, in an itinerary of scheduled meetings that also involves his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.

RockedBuzz via Reuters on Saturday quoted French officials as saying Habeck and Le Maire would use the meetings to press senior US officials not to actively try to steal green investment from Europe amid European concerns over US green tech subsidies.

Under the multibillion-dollar Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Washington will subsidize products ranging from electric cars to solar panels as long as they meet the requirements to be produced locally.

“The United States is now shifting its economy towards green markets and driving forward cost-cutting in the development of climate-friendly technologies,” Habeck said.

“That’s fine, but it’s important that this takes place in friendly and fair competition and thus leads to advances in climate-neutral technologies.”

EU governments fear that the IRA could not only put European manufacturers at an unfair disadvantage, but also attract investment from Europe to the United States. It is likely they will want to explore the exceptions when the US implements the plans.

In addition to Yellen, the two will also meet with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the German ministry statement said.

The talks will focus on the US grant package in the context of the future trade relationship between the EU and the US.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Vera Eckert; Editing by David Holmes)