WASHINGTON — President Biden is scheduled to meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Friday afternoon, and the two leaders are expected to coordinate support for Ukraine and negotiate U.S. clean energy subsidies open which has provoked anger among some European nations.
The discussion, scheduled for 2 p.m. in the White House, will range from a possible trade deal to concerns about China’s support for Moscow and will be a test of the transatlantic allies’ ability to maintain a unified front at the global level even if they differ deal with internal disagreements.
While Mr. Biden has often hailed his efforts to unite the West against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some of those European allies have expressed frustration with one of the president’s signature economic packages: $370 billion in climate spending that would give American consumers tax credits on the Offer to buy new and used electric vehicles. The law limits credit to vehicles built in North America and has strict requirements for the critical minerals used to manufacture their batteries.
European officials have openly opposed the law, which they say will penalize their businesses. After Mr Biden and Ms Von der Leyen meet, they are expected to announce they will begin negotiations focused on the critical minerals, administration officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity on Thursday.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss how to continue to exert economic pressure on Russia while the war in Ukraine rages on, officials said. But Mr. Biden also now faces the challenge of maintaining public support for aid to Ukraine. Polls show American support is waning, and while Mr Biden has persuaded European allies, heavily dependent on Russian natural gas, to become more energy independent, many are now grappling with an energy crisis.
The Biden administration has also increasingly warned allies that China could soon move to supplying arms to Moscow. The administration officials, anticipating the meeting, said Mr. Biden and Ms. Von der Leyen would discuss how to target “third-country actors” in the Russia war, a term Biden administration officials have used to convey China’s support for Moscow describe.
Mr Biden is also expected to thank Ms Von der Leyen for helping reach a deal that helped end a dispute over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland. Known as the Windsor Framework, the deal helped avoid a trade war between Britain and the European Union while opening the door to restoring functioning government in Northern Ireland.