EU Commission concerned over US tax & climate package

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The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Friday and an approval is considered likely…reports Asian Lite news

The European Commission has criticized parts of a massive legislative package on tax and climate proposed by US President Joe Biden and making its way through Congress.

If passed, the law would provide tax credits for buyers of electric cars if a certain percentage of battery components originated in the US, dpa news agency reported.

“The European Union is deeply concerned by this new potential trans-Atlantic trade barrier that the US is currently discussing,” Miriam Garcia Ferrer, a spokesperson for the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

“We think that (the bill) is discriminatory, that it’s discriminating against foreign producers in relation to US producers,” Garcia Ferrer said.

She added that according to the commission, the proposed law would violate trade rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“We continue to urge the United States to remove these discriminatory elements from the bill and ensure it is fully in compliance with the WTO,” Garcia Ferrer said.

US media had reported that the conditions for tax benefits were added to the bill at the request of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

The Democrats needed the backing of the senator from West Virginia to have a majority in favour of the new law and had to make concessions.

On Sunday, the Senate approved the legislation.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Friday and an approval is considered likely.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, President Biden signed the historic $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act into law that includes $52 billion to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

The CHIPS and Science Act is the Biden administration’s bet to incentivise chipmakers to reverse course and build fabs in the US and cut the dependence on China.

The bill also creates a 25 per cent tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing, earmarks $1.5 billion for technology development for US firms dependent on foreign telecommunications, according to Forbes.

Meanwhile, South Korea is reviewing its possible participation in the US-led semiconductor alliance from the perspective of national interest and has no intent to build an exclusive grouping against China.

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