Ihe economic war really only opposes three great enemies, the United States, China and Europe? A geoeconomic reading accredits the idea that everything is at stake between these blocks, engaged in a ruthless struggle for industrial and technological domination. The major aid programs for industrial sectors decided by Washington, Beijing and Brussels show that the analysis is correct. Up to a point for the European Union (EU), less monolithic than its competitors. Each State plays its own part with unequal means, and the fight to attract decision-making centres, factories or research and development laboratories has never weakened.
Europe has long held back national industrial policies, making competition the first pillar of the community building. Its history is also marked by the continued fiscal (Ireland) and social dumping of new entrants, those from the South in the 1980s and from the East twenty years later. The relocation of Whirlpool dryers from Amiens to Poland remains in everyone’s memory. Coupled with European cohesion funds, this policy has enabled them to partially catch up with a heavy economic backwardness. It was the Old Continent that benefited from it, not the Chinese dragon, welcomed the European elites. An argument inadmissible by the victims of relocations, which pushed half of French workers to vote for the far right.
The unthought of the Choose France summit
“Reindustrialization is the mother of battles” political, economic and social, judge Emmanuel Macron. A European or national battle? The issue has an obvious continental dimension: Europe must (re)find sovereignty in this area, a strong focus of the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen. She’ll make the CO pay2 imported by a carbon tax at the borders, relaxes the rules on state aid, better protects its strategic companies from Chinese and American appetites. The EU is mobilizing tens of billions of euros in favor of sectors deemed to be strategic and is seeking to reduce its dependence on ores and rare minerals. Who knows if it will not introduce, one day, a Buy European Act to respond to the uninhibited protectionism of the Americans and the Chinese, as several States are calling for.
We can defend common projects on batteries and semiconductors, while preserving our interests in the competition that is raging in Europe. This “at the same time” is the unthought of the Choose France summit, which met on Monday, May 15, in Versailles. It marks record announcements since the first edition of 2018: 13 billion euros of foreign investment snatched from the Germans, the Poles or the Spaniards. For the fourth year in a row, France has remained in first place in Europe by the number of new projects, explains the latest barometer from the EY firm on attractiveness.
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