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Sweden’s new trade chief sees ‘worrying’ aspects of US electric car tax credit – POLITICO


PRAGUE — Sweden joins France and Germany in voicing concerns about the United States’ new electric vehicle tax credit, and Stockholm will use its upcoming EU Council presidency to push for ” improve” transatlantic relations on this issue, the new Swede says the trade chief.

In an interview with POLITICO on Sunday ahead of an informal meeting of trade ministers in Prague, Johan Forssell, Sweden’s new trade minister, said Stockholm shared Berlin’s and Paris’ concerns over the U.S. oil reduction law. Inflation, a new law that offers tax cuts and energy benefits for companies that invest on American soil and encourages American consumers to “buy American” when it comes to getting a greener car.

France and Germany have said the EU cannot remain inactive in the face of new US measures and should retaliate if the incentives remain the same. French President Emmanuel Macron has already called for a “Buy European Act” to protect regional automakers.

Forssell said he would “raise” those concerns with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai at a bilateral meeting scheduled for Monday, on the sidelines of the EU meeting in Prague, which is expected to be dominated by the transatlantic row.

In the interview at the Swedish ambassador’s residence in Prague, Forssell said that Sweden would try to do “what we can to improve relations between the EU and the United States. At the same time. .. there are some elements in the Inflation Reduction Act that are worrying and they are not WTO compliant.”

After the Czech Republic, Sweden is expected to take over the EU Council Presidency in January. The country will present its priorities for the presidency in a few weeks, but progress on free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand, India and Indonesia will be high on Stockholm’s agenda.

“Sweden has been focusing for many years on a very free trade approach. … To have this open free trade, rules-based international trade is, of course, one of our main ambitions,” the minister said. Trade.

Regarding China, the minister said the EU should continue to “strengthen [the bloc’s] competitiveness and resilience.” He said relations between the EU and Beijing should be conducted through a “dialogue with China” that “is in line with our overall interests.”

“It will be a very important task during the presidency: to defend a very clear and firm position on China,” he added. “China is moving in a direction that, in some ways, is awkward.”

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Sweden’s new trade chief sees ‘worrying’ aspects of US electric car tax credit – POLITICO




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