IThe US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to the clean energy industry are generating anxiety in Europe. This voluntary industrial policy raises fears not only of a loss of attractiveness of our continent and therefore of relocations, but also of a broader stall in the development of the industries of the future. Our business leaders need to understand, however, that this is the tip of the iceberg: the IRA is part of a much larger strategy with a direct impact on investment decisions, location and external growth.
The stated goal of the United States is to“adjust globalization”, as can be read in their national security strategy, made public in October 2022. Faced with China’s growing economic, technological and military power, the rules governing the global economy and trade must be reviewed. As National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan put it tersely: “Access to the market was for thirty years the orthodoxy of any trade policy, it no longer corresponds to current issues. »
No more free trade, the key issue is now the security of supply chains, the famous ” supply chains “. This implies for a certain number of strategic products a decoupling between China and the United States: economic security once again becomes an integral part of national security.
The return of the state to the national economy
How does this translate in practice? First, it is the great return of the state to the national economy. Not that it is traditionally absent in the United States, quite the contrary, but there is a change of scale: between November 2021 and August 2022, more than 1,200 billion dollars are programmed for the financing of investments in terms of infrastructure, semi-conductors and energy transition, on the condition of producing all or part of it on American territory.
The White House claims “a modern industrial and innovation strategy” relying on strategic public investments and the use of public procurement in critical markets in order not only to maintain the competitive advantage of the United States in global competition, but also to strengthen the middle class, the bearer of the resilience of the country.
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