The relationship between the United States and the European Union serves as a model for economic integration and collaboration in trade and investment between two non-regional parties. Both sides are considered each other's significant general trading partners when it comes to commercial relations for goods and services. Conversely, China surpassed the United States as Europe's top trading partner for goods in 2020. In 2022, trade in goods between the two sides exceeded $900 billion, while trade in services exceeded $500 billion.
Despite its strength, this relationship has its share of trade disputes, primarily fuelled by the growth of bilateral trade and each side's desire to further enhance its surpluses by entering the other's market. These disputes sometimes even reached the World Trade Organisation (WTO), most recently in 2018 when the US imposed 25% and 10% tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from the EU based on national security grounds, to which the EU replied in kind.
However, the nearly 17-year-old dispute for control of the world's civil aviation industry between the two giant companies, American Boeing and European Airbus, was the most intense ever. Each side, "the United States and the European Union," made an effort to provide government aid to its company against the other. As the dispute escalated, both sides imposed retaliatory tariffs on a portion of each other's imports, which by 2021 totalled $11.5 billion. Eventually, in light of their disagreement with China, the two sides agreed to a trade truce, which stopped the dispute.
With every dispute between the two sides, the world hangs its breath due to their significant impact on the international economy, the shift forced by such a conflict in supply chains and the potential global slowdown. The world has been concerned about a similar situation since US President Joe Biden successfully passed his Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in August 2022, which heralded the beginning of a prolonged war on both sides of the Atlantic in a world already dominated by trade and military conflicts between the East and the West.
This article analyses the American Inflation Reduction Act and predicts how this Act will impact the global economy in light of the current unstable economic situation.