In the background of the Russia-Ukraine war, Western countries are showing themselves off and putting on a show. However, despite these processes, the "trade war" between Europe and the United States does not escape attention. It is very interesting whether the "clashes" between the world powers will have any consequences for Azerbaijan, and whether we will have opportunities to defend our legal claims more actively.
French President Emmanuel Macron's five-day visit to the United States is currently in the spotlight and has become a topic of wide discussion. The White House, trying to create the impression that the main topic of the negotiations is the issue of Ukraine, claims that the spirit of cooperation prevails in the Western camp, and supposedly everyone is against Russian aggression and is busy repelling it. But the matter is not so simple and seems more complicated. Even the world-famous publication "The Wall Street Journal" notes that Macron and the leaders of other European countries are angry because of the policy of the United States, which aggravates the economic consequences, especially the consequences of the energy sector, against the background of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The two new laws passed in the United States last summer that have the most influence on the leaders of European countries and anger them are, to put it mildly, dissatisfied with these laws. One of the laws, the first one actually, is the "Reduction of Inflation Act", which is precisely the law that threatens European industry. Based on the mentioned law, the US government will allocate 400 billion dollars in subsidies to American companies and consumers related to the purchase of certain US goods, as well as tax incentives. These advantages are a crushing blow to European competitors, as non-tariff barriers between the European Union and the United States are removed, leaving European businesses with a difficult choice. In such a situation, it is expected that either losses will be faced or many will move to the United States, which is what worries Europe in general. Another issue, the second bill, is the Chip Act, which is designed to encourage the expansion in the United States of the manufacturing of advanced semiconductors, one of the key components of modern technological development. By allocating 280 billion US dollars to appropriate legal and structural measures, research, as well as the establishment of appropriate production, the American authorities intend to achieve dominance. This is what worries Europe, because they realize that they will lose to the Americans in the future, and therefore have taken action.
The price of energy carriers in Europe is higher than in the United States, which aggravates the situation of the European industry. America wants to create an image that it has "saved Europe from Putin" by diversifying gas supplies to European countries, but it does not seem like that at all. So, by doubling the export of liquid natural gas to the European Union this year compared to 2021, the Americans also raised prices. It is no coincidence that the French President Macron himself expressed his opinion about this openly and said that this step does not give the impression of a "friendly" step.
The reality is that in Europe there are serious concerns about moving business abroad to places where energy is cheaper and subsidies are given. For example, the results of surveys conducted in Germany last week confirm that one in five large German entrepreneurs is already thinking about the plan to "move". It was no coincidence that French President Macron met with heads of dozens of the largest firms, from the automobile giant BMW to pharmaceutical concerns and chemical companies, at the European Round Table last week. With this, Macron tried to make some appeal, but it is not clear how far he achieved his wish.
Macron's visit to America is not accidental. The point is that within the framework of his five-day visit to the United States, French President Emmanuel Macron's speech in Washington as a representative of the EU, trying to connect his new policy with the interests of transatlantic partners and EU countries, as well as trying to convince someone that the European industry is strong, is considered unsuccessful. The joint communique adopted after the meeting listed more than ten areas of successful cooperation between France and the United States, but Macron failed to come up with Washington's demands to amend bills that harm the interests of European industry, although he could not solve the problems, so he had to fly abroad, specifically to America. This was what forced the French leader. "We need to re-synchronize and this morning's discussion was very clear," said the French president, whose defeat was evident in his conciliatory tone at the post-meeting press conference. "The United States is not apologizing. We never intended to exclude people who worked with us," said Biden, who categorically refused to apologize or admit anything.
On December 5, Monday, an additional delegation of the European Union is planning a visit to Washington. The purpose of the visit is to officially discuss the violation of the interests of the European industry with the US authorities. The point is that the effort seems pointless. It seems that the European Union has no chance of achieving any positive results. The reality is that the delegation cannot hope for any other outcome than to resolve the conflict under the terms of the European Union's defeat. Most likely, European leaders intend to ask US President Biden to implement or amend the law, but the point is that Biden cannot repeal or amend the law. Although these laws are signed by the American president, they are approved by Congress, and now losing billions of dollars is considered political suicide.
All these listed points confirm that we are on the verge of a "trade war" between Europe and the United States, and the chances of the European Union winning this war are zero. A compromise solution is not even in sight. Even as the EU's leading countries, Paris and Berlin have recently expressed their intention to agree to retaliate to protect European Union industry by giving European companies tax breaks in the event of future difficulties with their American partners. But they have no hope that an agreement will be obtained. In the current situation, it seems more plausible to expect the opposite. Because the forces are not equal and the European Union does not have a special choice. The issue is not "who will win the protectionism race" between Europe and America, but the issue of whether the European Union will not achieve anything more useful than unconditional surrender in the face of Washington's economic pressure, which Europeans have become accustomed to recently. The fact that Paris, for the first time in history, recalled its ambassador, only to realize that it would never get it, that it had lost, and the ambassador's return to Washington a week later is a clear proof of this.
Some Western European politicians have long been shouting that the mutual destruction of Europe and Russia is planned. Even from the very beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Macron's insistence on the need to continue the dialogue with the Kremlin is not accidental. It was not for nothing that the French president even recently asked the Pope to make efforts to exert the necessary influence on Biden and Putin to "promote the peace process". Those who know what is at the root of the matter understand that the destruction, or at least the weakening, of opponents under the pretext of "national security" is the basis of the plan, and hence the interest in preventing it.
Of course, we are all interested in whether such an encounter has any effects on our country, Azerbaijan. For this reason, it would be appropriate to point out that even in the mentioned conflict with the main Western states, Azerbaijan has wider opportunities to defend its fair demands. As a democratic country, Azerbaijan defends its rights and rights, protects its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and is always open to cooperation with any democratic country. Azerbaijan's resources are sufficient for this cooperation. In particular, it should be noted that against the background of the current energy crisis in the world, the natural resources and energy resources of Azerbaijan are now needed by everyone, and in this regard, the "trade war" between Europe and the United States does not promise any undesirable results for our country.
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