President Joe Biden (D) is arranging subsidies for American companies in a misguided effort to support development and production of electric vehicles and their batteries in the US. The EU objects, saying the subsidies disfavor EU nation-domiciled companies, and is proposing some options to counter the American subsidies.

One provision suggested by the commission could allow governments to directly match certain green subsidies offered by the US. European competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that means that if a company was offered $1 billion to build a new battery factory outside of Europe, “a member state could offer the same.”
The matching subsidies program would have several conditions, Ms Vestager said. A business would have to show how it could benefit from a subsidy from the US or another country, and any matching funds would have to benefit more than one European country.

The EU can’t make any economic move at all without layering on yet more bureaucracy and regulation. These conditions seem also to be offered because the EU doesn’t trust, rightly or wrongly, its own constituent nations to play nice among themselves even against a common external competitor. This is another example of the central planners demanding one-size-fits all regulation, and demanding them preemptively, denying the constituents any opportunity to perform on their own recognizance.

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