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Europe was better off with Trump

Kicking the Europeans under the table? Thierry Monasse/Bloomberg

Joe Biden is proving trickier for Europe to deal with than Donald Trump ever was, says Nicholas Vinocur in Politico. Take the current spat over the $369bn in subsidies Washington has earmarked for US-produced green tech. It’s a “potential disaster” for European exports. As Emmanuel Macron has complained, Biden is maintaining a “double standard”: talking up a trans-Atlantic trade partnership while simultaneously trying to “suck investment” out of Europe. Washington is encouraging EU countries to create their own subsidy programmes, but Europe’s cash-strapped leaders can’t afford to inject anywhere near enough to offset the loss in US trade. At least with Trump what you saw was what you got. Biden is “a friend who says all the right things but leaves you in the lurch when it counts”.

No less questionable is America’s ban on selling new-generation semiconductors to China, says Michael Sauga in Der Spiegel. By insisting that Europeans abide by this, Biden has dragged us into his “economic war” – despite it going “far beyond” what our own trade experts consider sensible. It’s ridiculous for the President to talk up “Western unity” in Ukraine, while at the same time crippling the European economy by “drawing new boundaries” in the Atlantic and cutting off trade with China. “One cannot speak of ‘Friendshoring’ and at the same time kick your supposedly closest ally under the table.”