France’s Emmanuel Macron says Biden agenda could ‘fragment the West’
French President Emmanuel Macron warned Wednesday that President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which favors American-made technology, risks fragmenting the West.
Macron made the comments during a speech at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., a day ahead of a planned state dinner with the president and first lady.
While he applauded the administration’s efforts to curb climate change, he said the subsidies as outlined in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act would be an enormous setback for European companies.
'The choices that have been made ... are choices that will fragment the West,' Macron said. He said the legislation 'creates such differences between the United States of America and Europe that all those who work in many companies (in the U.S.), they will just think, 'We don't make investments any more on the other side of the Atlantic.''
Macron echoed his concerns over the legislation during an interview that aired Thursday on ABC’s 'Good Morning America.' Despite the U.S. and France working well together on the war in Ukraine and geopolitics overall, Macron said, the U.S. climate bill and semiconductor legislation were not properly coordinated with Europe and created 'the absence of a level playing field.'
Other European Union nations have expressed concern that tax credits, including those aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles, would discriminate against European producers and break World Trade Organization rules.
Macron’s criticisms follow another low point last year after Biden announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia, undermining a contract for France to sell diesel-powered submarines. The relationship has recovered since then, with Biden acknowledging a clumsy rollout of the submarine deal and Macron emerging as one of Biden's strongest European allies in the Western response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Biden, who is honoring Macron with the first state dinner of his presidency on Thursday evening, said at a joint news conference that he and the French president spoke a 'a good deal' about European concerns over his signature climate change law during an Oval Office meeting.
'The United States makes no apology. And I make no apologies, since I wrote it, for the legislation we're talking about,' Biden said, though he conceded that changes may need to be made to the massive legislative package that he signed into law in August.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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