Biden and von der Leyen Strengthen U.S.-EU Partnership at White House Meeting
U.S. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met at the White House on Friday for talks that touched upon the longstanding partnership between the European Union and the United States. With the U.S. and EU having differing views on China, Biden and von der Leyen discussed efforts to strengthen national security and economic cooperation, as well as climate challenges.
The meeting comes at a time of tension between the two blocs, with the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act causing friction. The law specifies that electric vehicles must source a percentage of the material for their batteries from North America or countries with a free trade agreement with the US — which the EU does not.
Biden and von der Leyen are expected to begin negotiations to allow the EU to have a status similar to that of a free trade partner so that it may be exempt from the clause, which would reduce both U.S. and EU dependence on China. They also discussed the matter of a “critical raw materials club” of like-minded partners to wean the transatlantic partners off of significant dependencies on China.
The two leaders also addressed the issue of China’s potential supply of weapons to Russia, which has caused a lot of concern. While the U.S. has taken a more hawkish stance on China, the EU has tried to maintain a more nuanced approach and does not want to talk about a new cold war.
The meeting marks yet another opportunity for the U.S. and EU to work together on key global issues. Climate change is increasingly taking the spotlight in international relations as the shift towards a clean economy speeds up. Biden and von der Leyen discussed the need for U.S.-EU coordination to combat the climate crisis through investing in clean technology based on secure supply chains. It remains to be seen what kind of progress can be made in the coming weeks and months.
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