Faced with Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron launches offensive on behalf of Europe

Visit Washington, the Head of State has attacked the inflation plan passed by the American president, deemed protectionist. He warned against the risk of “fragmenting the West”.

by Claire Gatinois (Washington, Special Envoy) and Philippe Ricard (Washington, Special Envoy)

Before even talking to Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron broke the ice, leaving behind a string of glass debris. Barely arrived in Washington, the head of state attempted, Wednesday, November 30, to install a balance of power. One way for him to be respected by his American counterpart on the warm subject of the moment.

During a lunch with elected officials from Congress, the French president forgot any diplomatic restraint by evoking the “inflation Reduction Act” (IRA), this massive investment plan of some $ 370 billion (355 billion of euros) aimed at supporting American industries to accelerate the energy transition. This is, he said, a “super aggressive” initiative, as reported by the France-Presse agency. “The choices that are made are choices that will fragment the West,” insisted the Head of State a few hours later by addressing nationals at the French Embassy, ​​while stressing “the need for advance hand in hand “with the United States.

The subject, described as “constructive” by the teams of Emmanuel Macron, testifies to the French and European annoyance towards American legislation, a political success for President Biden but considered on this side of the Atlantic as a protectionist. IRA penalizes European imports and carries the threat of increased deindustrialization of the old continent. “The danger is that the United States is watching above all the United States. And then its rivalry with China and that France and Europe become an adjustment variable,” said Emmanuel Macron at the Embassy .

A slippage in an often tense Franco-American relationship? “The president assumes all his words. There is no surprise. You know how to make the Head of State. He did not come to Washington to celebrate the Alliance, but to speak of real subjects” , assured one of Emmanuel Macron’s advisers. The Elysée highlights the risk of “distortion”, while it is the Europeans, it is said in Paris, who pay the heaviest “economic and psychological” tribute of the return of war on the old continent, soon Ten months after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. For the entourage of the President of the Republic, the United States has no interest in seeing Europe emerging, “depleted” and “deindustrialized”, of this conflict.

The offensive seemed Expected by the Biden administration

This rise in your a few hours before private dinner between the French president and the US head of state, in the company of their respective wives, Jill and Brigitte, could have aroused a diplomatic incident in Washington.

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/Media reports cited above.