EU officials attack Joe Biden over sky-high gas prices, weapons sales and trade as Vladimir Putin’s war threatens to destroy Western unity.
BY BARBARA MOENS, JAKOB HANKE VELA AND JACOPO BARIGAZZI, NOVEMBER 24, 2022 “………………….. Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer..
“The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told POLITICO.
The explosive comments — backed in public and private by officials, diplomats and ministers elsewhere — follow mounting anger in Europe over American subsidies that threaten to wreck European industry. The Kremlin is likely to welcome the poisoning of the atmosphere among Western allies.
EU officials attack Joe Biden over sky-high gas prices, weapons sales and trade .
“We are really at a historic juncture,” the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.2
As they attempt to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, EU countries are turning to climate-deadly fracked gas from the U.S. instead — but the price Europeans pay is almost four times as high as the same fuel costs in America. Then there’s the likely surge in orders for American-made military kit as European armies run short after sending weapons to Ukraine. ……………………….
Officials on both sides of the Atlantic recognize the risks that the increasingly toxic atmosphere will have for the Western alliance. The bickering is exactly what Putin would wish for, EU and U.S. diplomats agreed.
The growing dispute over Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — a huge tax, climate and health care package — has put fears over a transatlantic trade war high on the political agenda again. EU trade ministers are due to discuss their response on Friday as officials in Brussels draw up plans for an emergency war chest of subsidies to save European industries from collapse.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is very worrying,” said Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher. “The potential impact on the European economy is very big.”
“The U.S. is following a domestic agenda, which is regrettably protectionist and discriminates against U.S. allies,” said Tonino Picula, the European Parliament’s lead person on the transatlantic relationship…………………………
Behind the scenes, there is also growing irritation about the money flowing into the American defense sector.
The U.S. has by far been the largest provider of military aid to Ukraine, supplying more than $15.2 billion in weapons and equipment since the start of the war. The EU has so far provided about €8 billion of military equipment to Ukraine, according to Borrell.
Of course it’s all ‘funny money’. The US can still ‘just print dollars’ due to the world trade system it enforces, just adding ever more trillions in debt.
According to one senior official from a European capital, restocking of some sophisticated weapons may take “years” because of problems in the supply chain and the production of chips. This has fueled fears that the U.S. defense industry can profit even more from the war.
The Pentagon is already developing a roadmap to speed up arms sales, as the pressure from allies to respond to greater demands for weapons and equipment grows. ……………………… more https://www.politico.eu/article/vladimir-putin-war-europe-ukraine-gas-inflation-reduction-act-ira-joe-biden-rift-west-eu-accuses-us-of-profiting-from-war/