Macron warns US against 'fragmentation of the West'

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Macron warns the United States against “fragmentation of the West”

President Emmanuel Macron addresses US elected officials during a meeting in Washington.

He wanted to be “direct” on the first day of his state visit: Emmanuel Macron deplored Wednesday in Washington the “super aggressive” measures taken by Joe Biden to boost American industry, pleading for better economic coordination on both sides of the Atlantic.

On the first day of an official trip to celebrate Franco-American friendship, the French president did not hide his concerns during lunch with US parliamentarians.

The massive subsidies decided by the American president in a great economic and social law called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are super aggressive for our companies, he lamented, according to an AFP journalist present in the room.

“I don't want to become a market for American products because I have the exact same products as you. I have a middle class [that needs] to work and people that need to find jobs. And the consequence of the IRA is that you may fix your problem, but you'll make mine worse. I'm sorry to be so direct. ยป

โ€” Emmanuel Macron, French President

Put yourself in my shoes, he told elected officials during this meeting devoted to climate change, asking to be respected as a good friend.

The French President reiterated his concerns in the evening during a speech to the French community at the French Embassy.

The choices made, whose objectives I share, in particular the IRA, are choices that will fragment the West, said Emmanuel Macron.

Stressing that the alliance with the United States was stronger than anything, he however warned against the risk of Europe and France becoming a sort of adjustment variable for the rivalry between the United States and China, the two leading world powers.

France sees with concern the uninhibited economic patriotism shown by the American Democratic President, who has given himself the watchword Made in USA.

Joe Biden intends in particular to boost the electric vehicle sector, with a view to both boosting industrial employment, energy transition and technological competition with China .

The French president indicated that he did not believe for a second in an American volte-face, but pleaded for better synchronization between the United States and Europe.

Joe Biden's spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre repeated Washington's position that the IRA creates meaningful opportunities for businesses Europe and for European energy security. This is not a zero-sum game.

The state visit of Emmanuel Macron, the first foreign leader to whom Joe Biden reserves this diplomatic honor, continued on a more solemn tone.

The Head of State visited Arlington National Cemetery, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but also a white rose on the grave of Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French architect who designed the plans for the American capital.

After a meeting on civilian nuclear power and a meeting with the French community, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will meet Joe and Jill Biden for an intimate dinner, far from the formal pomp that the White House will deploy on Thursday for the French president, between strokes of cannon, meeting in the oval office and gala dinner.

The first lady detailed to the press on Wednesday the reception which will be given under a large tent in the gardens of the White House, an expression of welcome and friendship.

White House kitchen employees present the menu that will be offered to President Emmanuel Macron.

Photographers were able to machine-gun the tables laden with white, blue and red flowers, as well as the planned dishes โ€“ lobster, beef and American cheeses.

Jill Biden has touted the personal ties between the two presidential couples and explained that she had an instant connection with Brigitte Macron because of their similar career paths in education.

The evening will be hosted by Jon Batiste, jazzman from New Orleans โ€“ where Emmanuel Macron will go on Friday. This singer and composer is also an artist committed to defending the rights of African-Americans.

On the American side, we hope to put an end to the serious diplomatic crisis of last year.

In September 2021, the United States announced a new alliance, AUKUS, with Australia and the United Kingdom, arousing the ire of France, held away in a key region of the world and which lost, in the process, a mega-contract to sell submarines in Canberra.

Apart from the question of trade protectionism, Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are expected to discuss major international topics on Thursday: China and Ukraine.

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