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The eco decryption. What will the Biden presidency actually change for the European economy?


Speech by Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States in New Castle (USA), January 19, 2021. (JIM WATSON / AFP)

What poisons the Franco-American relationship the most are the taxes on the products sold in the United States. Joe Biden is unlikely to remove them altogether as he campaigned on protectionist measures,
but France hopes he will at least reduce them. And thus lighten the bill a little. Because for four years, it is escalation: many products such as steel, cheese, olive oil, luxury items … have seen punitive taxes applied by Trump. Until a few days ago, wines and cognacs were also affected by these 25% customs duties. A disaster for the industry which expects a drop in exports to the United States of one billion euros per year.

In this case, France is not alone. Europe intends to open discussions very quickly with Biden to find a trade agreement. In the meantime, she hopes to negotiate moratoria. The other issue on which we hope for relaxation is the one between Airbus and its American competitor Boeing. This trade dispute has been going on since 2004, and concerns public aid deemed illegal paid to the two groups. It is also the source of heavy customs taxes
And again, the arrival of Biden is hopeful, to achieve a normalization in the coming months. If France finds common ground on luxury, wines, aeronautics, it will do our economy a lot of good, because these sectors are our main export flagships.

It all depends on Joe Biden’s position with regard to these firms which supported him during his campaign. Will he agree to tax them within the framework of an international agreement? France leaves itself until the summer to convince him.
Otherwise, Bruno Le Maire promised to keep and apply the French Gafa tax. It would, however, be a source of dispute with Biden.

Finally, the last important point, on the climate. The return of the United States to the Paris Agreement is good news for the planet, but also for our economy. This opens up opportunities for French companies. They are well placed in this niche of green energies, and will be able to export their know-how more easily.

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