European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, September 28, 2022. Reuters

The European Union asked the United States on Monday to treat EU electric vehicles, batteries and sustainable energy equipment sold in the United States the same as those from Canada and Mexico, Czech trade minister Jozef Sikela said.

The 27-nation EU has been complaining the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act effectively discriminates against EU producers because it offers tax breaks to consumers on such goods made in North America, but not for those made in the EU.

The EU argues that, unlike the United States, it offers the same tax breaks for EU-made and U.S.-made goods in these sectors.

Speaking after a meeting of EU trade ministers and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Prague, Sikela, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, told a news conference there was a willingness on both sides for a deal.

"We are expecting a derogation (in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act) for EU member states - ideally we would like to have the same as Canada and Mexico, but we have to be realistic and see what we can negotiate," Sikela said.

The issue is to be resolved by a special task force, which will meet for the first time this week, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said.

"We are focusing on a negotiated solution before we move on to other considerations," he said.