HomeEuropeMacron announces ‘Buy European’ car measures by year-end

Macron announces ‘Buy European’ car measures by year-end

PARIS — France will next week propose financial support to incentivize citizens to buy European-made electric cars by year’s end, President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday, signaling his first concrete step toward rebutting Washington’s own “Buy American” subsidies.

“We will be the first European country to reform the criteria for the allocation of the car bonus,” Macron said during a speech on re-industrialization at the Elysée Palace. “Basically, we will support batteries and vehicles that are produced in Europe because their carbon footprint is good,” he added, calling the measure “a small revolution.”

New measures will be included in an upcoming “green industry bill,” which is set to be adopted during a Cabinet meeting next Tuesday, before being discussed by French lawmakers.

“This doesn’t mean that we are protectionist, we are not going to close the market, but we don’t want to use the French taxpayers’ money to accelerate non-European industrialization,” Macron said, mentioning Chinese competitors and Biden’s package of incentives for American green tech under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The French president has been pushing for a European response to Washington’s subsidies since they were approved last year, prompting complaints from Brussels that the U.S. measures will unfairly hurt European industry.

“We will do it now because we haven’t done it so far,” Macron said Thursday, alongside the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. He also urged Brussels to take similar action for batteries.

“I do not want Europe to support batteries that are not made in Europe under its battery legislation, because neither the Americans nor the Chinese are helping batteries made in Europe,” Macron said.

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