Macron hosts European CEOs to counter US move temptation

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European leaders have been alarmed by massive anti-inflation measures passed by Joe Biden’s administration, which make tax breaks conditional on U.S-manufactured content and which EU industries say make investment in Europe less competitive.

“We’re having difficulties with companies which are starting to consider offshoring their production or making future investment outside Europe,” a French official said, listing high energy costs and the U.S. legislation as reasons.

At the Elysee palace, Macron will seek to convince executives from companies including chemical groups Solvay (EBR:SOLB) and Air Liquide (OTC:AIQUY), carmakers Volvo and BMW, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) and telecom groups Ericsson (BS:ERICAs) and Orange to stay in Europe and choose France for their future investments.

Macron, who has called on the European Union to launch its own ‘European Buy Act’ to subsidise European production, has encountered resistance from the more anti-protectionist members of the bloc.

It was unclear what Macron would tell the executives to convince them not to move to the U.S. But France has unveiled a number of measures over the weekend to cushion the impact of high energy bills for French companies.

European companies have been increasingly strident about the impact of soaring energy prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has pushed up gas and electricity prices.

Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, who heads the French federation of metals industries, warned in the Les Echos newspaper over the weekend that Europe should protect its own industry more aggressively or see it move to other shores.