Biden and Macron underline the 'core' US-France alliance, but the meeting is not expected to be without controversy

2022-12-01 18:44:31Kosova&Bota SHKRUAR NGA ASSOCIATED PRESS
Macron arrives at the White House

American President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting today at the White House. To honor President Macron, President Biden is hosting the first state dinner for a foreign leader tonight. In speeches before the meeting, the two leaders emphasized the long historical friendship between the two countries. But during the first day of the French leader's visit to the US, Mr. Macron criticized American laws protecting the environment.

President Emmanuel Macron was received with the highest honors in a ceremony that left no doubt about the high respect France enjoys from President Biden's administration.

In the speeches before the meeting, the two leaders focused on the long friendship between the two nations and the help they have given each other at key moments in history.

"France is our oldest ally. Our steadfast partner in the cause of freedom. From the help of the French soldier Marquis de La Fayette that ensured the success of our revolution to the sacrifice of the American soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy, our stories have been shaped by the courage of the women and men who crossed the Atlantic Ocean led by flames of freedom in their heart. Today, that flame shines brighter than ever, and the alliance between our two countries remains vital," said President Joe Biden.

The French president echoed the speech of his American counterpart, saying that the two nations "have fought side by side for freedom."

"We have the obligation to our common history, while the war has returned to European soil due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the various crises that our nations and societies are facing, to become brothers, to fight together again," said the French president. , Macron in his speech.

The talks are expected to focus mainly on efforts to stay united in their response to Russia's war in Ukraine and to coordinate their approach to an increasingly authoritarian China.

Although their speeches praised the US-France friendship, the meeting is not expected to be without controversy.

The French president is not hiding his displeasure with President Biden's environmental laws, which Mr. Macron said will have a negative impact on European companies. During his meetings in Washington yesterday, Mr Macron said he and other European leaders were also deeply concerned about the US law supporting US technologies that do not harm the environment.

A day earlier, Mr Macron said he and other European leaders remain deeply concerned by two new US laws.

"Especially the Anti-Inflation Act and the Microprocessor Act," are divisive decisions in the West because they create differences between the United States and Europe. This seems to create the impression that no more investment is needed on the other side of the Atlantic. American actions can only work if there is coordination between us, if we decide together. This is decisive," said the French president on Wednesday, during a speech at the French embassy in Washington.

Another law criticized by the French president aims to favor US technologies that do not harm the environment, including electric vehicles.

This was not the only time that Mr. Macron criticized American laws. Before the speech at the French embassy, ??the French leader criticized the Anti-Inflation Act and the Microprocessor Act during a lunch with American lawmakers of both parties. The French president made it clear that President Biden's efforts to curb environmental changes should be applauded, but the subsidies that will be given under American laws would be a big obstacle for European companies.

The European Union has also expressed concern that tax credits in the environmental law, including those aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles, will discriminate against European manufacturers and constitute a violation of World Trade Organization rules.

Mr Macron also criticized an agreement reached at the recent environmental summit in Egypt, in which the US and other rich countries agreed to pay for the damage that climate change is causing to poor countries. The agreement includes few details on how the payment will be made and Mr Macron said a more comprehensive approach was needed.

Officials in President Biden's administration disagree and say the US environmental law is a big help in curbing climate change.