WASHINGTON — President Biden is scheduled to meet on Friday afternoon with Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, and the two leaders are expected to coordinate on support for Ukraine and open negotiations over U.S. clean energy subsidies that have prompted anger among some European nations.
The discussion, scheduled for 2 p.m. at the White House, will range from a potential trade deal to concerns over China’s support for Moscow, and will be a test of the trans-Atlantic allies’ ability to hold together a unified front on the global stage even as they deal with internal disagreements.
While Mr. Biden has often celebrated his efforts to unite the West against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some of those European allies have expressed frustration over one of the president’s signature economic packages: $370 billion in climate spending that offers tax credits to American consumers to buy new and used electric vehicles. The law restricts the credit to vehicles built in North America and has strict requirements around the critical minerals used to make their batteries.
European officials have been outspoken against the law, which they say will put their companies at a disadvantage. After Mr. Biden and Ms. Von der Leyen meet, they are expected to announce that they will start negotiations focused on the critical minerals, administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said on Thursday.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss how they can continue to put economic pressure on Russia as the war in Ukraine rages, the officials said. But Mr. Biden now also faces the challenge of maintaining public support for aid to Ukraine. Polls show American support softening, and while Mr. Biden has rallied European allies, who depend heavily on Russian natural gas, to be more energy independent, many are now grappling with an energy crisis.
The Biden administration has also increasingly cautioned allies that China could soon move to supply weapons to Moscow. The administration officials previewing the meeting said Mr. Biden and Ms. Von der Leyen would discuss how to address “third country actors” in Russia’s war, a term Biden administration officials have used to describe China’s support for Moscow.
Mr. Biden is also expected to thank Ms. Von der Leyen for helping to secure a deal that helped end a dispute over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland. The deal, known as the Windsor Framework, helped avoid a trade war between Britain and the European Union while opening the door to restoring a functioning government in Northern Ireland.