Biden and Macron seek to heal trade rift and present united front on Ukraine

Joe Biden has sought to fix the rift with the French President Emmanuel Macron And other European leaders on trade, acknowledging “flaws” in the $739bn law, saying they can be fixed.

The US President was speaking while hosting Macron for the first state visit of his presidency on Thursday. The leaders expressed unity over support for Ukraine’s war against Russia but faced questions about their differences on trade.

America’s Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, is set to pour billions of dollars into eco-friendly industries, with strong support for American-based manufacturers. The White House touts the IRA as a key effort to restart domestic manufacturing and promote renewable technologies while challenging Chinese dominance.

But EU governments have insisted on “Made in America” ​​and threatened to start a trade war by subsidizing their own green economy sector.

At a joint press conference, Biden said of the legislation: “Clearly there are going to be glitches and there needs to be changes to be accommodated.” He promised that “tweaks” would be made, adding that the US “does not intend to drive out those who were cooperating with us”.

The President said: “I have to say that we are back in business and we will continue to create manufacturing jobs but not at the expense of Europe.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Macron said he had explained to Biden that the law’s subsidies could kill some green energy projects but acknowledged these were unintended consequences.

He added: “We have no choice but to work together. We need to resynchronize together. Macron said FranceLike the US, wanted to rebuild its manufacturing base after 50 years of industrial decline. “We want to succeed together, not at each other’s expense.”

Some see Macron’s pompous visit as a massive apology from Washington after last year Bitterness over how Australia exited a French submarine deal instead leaving Paris blind in favor of acquiring American nuclear submarines.

Speaking amid gold curtains, crystal chandeliers and fairy lights, fake icicles and a Christmas tree decorated with snow in the East Room, Biden said: “Emmanuel has also become a friend. Sometimes we have minor differences, but never fundamental ones.”

The president and his wife Jill greeted Macron and his wife Brigitte with hugs, kisses and broad smiles at the South Lawn ceremony, where Macron, 44, repeatedly placed his hand on Biden, 80,’s back, as men Walk together and pledge to maintain the “unbreakable” US-French alliance ahead of talks on Ukraine, China and the looming trade dispute.

Service members from the Marines, Army, Air Force, and even a contingent of soldiers from the 18th century Revolutionary War parade in front of the White House. A 21-gun salute was fired from the artillery, sending plumes of white smoke rising into a sunny but cold December sky.

Biden praised Macron as “the leader of not only France” and for being “very outspoken and very, very commanding in Europe”.

Macron leaves with Joe Biden after their joint news conference.
Macron leaves with Joe Biden after their joint news conference. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The state visit is a diplomatic boost for Macron that he can take advantage of back in Europe. It could bolster his image as the EU’s most visible and vocal leader, at a time when Europe is increasingly concerned that its economy will be weakened by the Ukraine war and resulting energy and inflation crises.

At the East Room press conference, Biden said he was appalled by Russia’s brutality in Ukraine, but insisted that Vladimir Putin “is not going to succeed”, adding: “President Macron and I have resolved that we will Will continue to work together.” Hold Russia accountable for their actions and mitigate the global effects of Putin’s war on the rest of the world.

Responding to questions from reporters, Biden said: “There is a way to end this war – the rational way. Putin to get out of Ukraine … This is sick, what is he doing … I am Mr. I’m open to talking with Putin if he’s really interested in making the decision that he’s looking for a way to end the war.

Macron said they discussed initiatives to “continue and strengthen their support to Ukrainian troops and enable them to resist”.

Much of the visit revolved around refreshing longstanding, if often slightly thorny, US-French diplomatic relations.

Macron and his wife came to the US with gifts including a vinyl and CD of the original soundtrack from the 1966 film Un homme et une femme, which Biden went to see on their first date. The Bidens presented Macron with a custom mirror made from wood felled from the White House grounds and a custom vinyl record collection of great American musicians.

The State Dinner at the White House will return entertainment to Washington on a grand scale not seen since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Grammy-award-winning American musician Jon Batiste will perform at the banquet, which the White House said will include butter-poached Maine lobster paired with caviar, delicata squash raviolo and tarragon sauce.

Main courses include roast beef and triple-baked butter potatoes and finally orange chiffon cake, roasted pears with citrus sauce and crème fraîche ice cream, before leading to a cheese course from award-winning American brands. will be Three wines from American vineyards.

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