On state visit, Macron flexes his muscles and castigates US trade policy

Jacques Serais, edited by Laura Laplaud
modified to

07:47, December 01, 2022

On a state visit to Washington, Emmanuel Macron castigated US trade policy on Wednesday, calling it “super aggressive”. Before going to the White House on Thursday, the head of state is trying to put pressure on the American anti-inflation plan, the “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA).

Second day of Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the United States. The President of the Republic scratches American trade policy, describing it as “super aggressive” during a lunch with American parliamentarians on Wednesday. In the line of fire, the will of the Biden administration to boost American companies with subsidies: that is 430 billion euros, the amount of this anti-inflation plan. Emmanuel Macron intends to address the subject again in the more solemn setting of the White House.

Emmanuel Macron shows the muscles

Although he is received with the greatest respect, Emmanuel Macron is not unaware that his interview in the Oval Office will look like a showdown. So, in a small committee in front of elected members of the American congress, the head of state warms up and shows his muscles. “The Inflation Reduction Act” is “super aggressive for our businesses”, he denounces. The tenant of the Elysee Palace drives the point home in a speech for the French community, at the French Embassy: “There is a risk today, it is that Europe and therefore France become a kind of variable adjustment,” he said.

“The choices made, in particular the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ (IRA), are choices that will fragment the West because they create such differences between the United States of America and Europe that for all those who work in a number of companies, you just have to say to yourself ‘we don’t make any more investments on the other side of the ocean.’ And these choices can only work if there is coordination between us,” he added.

“We did not come to Washington to celebrate the Alliance”

Comment from an adviser to the Élysée: “We did not come to Washington to celebrate the Alliance. If we want to move forward, we need to deal with the real issues.” As if it were for the head of state to send a message to the Biden administration, formal pomp is not enough.

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