President Joe Biden, who was on an official visit to the United States, welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House. Biden greeted Macron with military honors outside his Washington headquarters today and in a speech praised “the stability, strength and vitality of the great friendship between France and the United States.”
“France is our oldest ally, our staunchest partner in the service of freedom,” the US president said in front of several invited guests. Macron paid tribute to the ties between the two countries and called for them to be further strengthened: “In the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the many crises affecting our countries and societies, we must once again become brothers in arms.”
Grants are not aligned
After the reception, Macron and Biden retreated to political talk. Controversy over subsidies for US goods could be a central issue in the fight against climate change. Macron described the subsidies as “extremely invasive” of French companies before US lawmakers on Wednesday. He later warned: “These decisions will divide the West.”
The controversy revolves around a multi-billion dollar climate protection and social package passed in the US in August called the Inflationary Reduction Act (IRA). The package provides 370 billion dollars (about 357 billion euros) for climate protection and energy security. Among other things, subsidies for “Made in America” electric cars, batteries and renewable energy projects are planned. These subsidies have met with strong criticism in the European Union. It is feared that this will harm European companies.