In Davos, the Americans praise the IRA, their plan hated by the Europeans

In front of the Congress Center in Davos, Switzerland, which hosts the World Economic Forum. ARND WIEGMANN / REUTERS

Joe Biden’s cabinet ministers and congressional elected officials service the massive green tech subsidy program.

IRA. This acronym is probably the most cited at the World Economic Forum in Davos, at least by European and American participants. It refers to the Inflation Reduction Act, a plan voted last summer by the United States Congress providing massive support for the energy transition, through 369 billion dollars in subsidies.

In Davos, the Europeans, commissioners and ministers, are discussing their counter-offensive in preparation, in the face of what they consider to be unfair competition, likely to suck up investments in electric cars or renewables in America.

The well-stocked American delegation, made up of big bosses, ministers, parliamentarians and even governors, supports the IRA with pride. ” The IRA will enable the United States to lead the energy transition and create well-paying and qualified jobs “, Supports Joe Biden’s Minister of Labor, Martin Walsh, who came from the union world. But when he is asked about possible adjustments or concessions which could be discussed with the Europeans, the minister kicks in touch: the subject does not fall within his competence and he has not been briefed by the White House, recognizes -he.

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“A real power of transformation” of the economy

Americans were rightly blamed for not doing anything about climate change, now they’re getting into itcomments a big French boss. They don’t do it against Europe but for themselves, he believes. Vicki Hollub is one of those industrialists across the Atlantic who welcome the federal support program. She is CEO of Occidental Petroleum and has committed her oil company to the energy transition. “IRA to subsidize lithium batteries and carbon capture and storage (CCS, in English). We plan to capture 100 million tonnes of CO2 by 2035, and the IRA is going to help us get there“explains the owner. “I say thank you Manchin!The Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, carried the text of the IRA, he who a few months earlier was hostile to subsidies on solar panels. The conversion of this elected official from a state dependent on coal was decisive. Joe Manchin is also in Davos where he points out that “the IRA helps us to consolidate our energy independence“.

The IRA has real transformative powerof the economy, supports Larry Fink, the boss of Blackrock, the largest asset manager in the world. Businesses around the world are looking to the United States».

A high-level working group was set up at the end of last year for the two sides of the Atlantic to discuss. But the Davos Forum allows informal exchanges between stakeholders, anxious to make their point of view heard. Joe Biden’s representative for trade, Katherine Tai, is expected to meet a number of European ministers and high-level officials including Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis or Christine Lagarde, the President of the ECB, at a dinner on Wednesday .

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