EU-U.S. Tensions Cast a Shadow on Macron’s Visit to Washington

EU-U.S. Tensions Cast a Shadow on Macron’s Visit to Washington
President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron stand on the Blue Room Balcony of the White House, in Washington, Dec. 1, 2022 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week for an official state visit to the United States. Macron’s trip marks the first time U.S. President Joe Biden has bestowed that honor on a foreign leader since he took office in January 2021.

The White House said the visit underscored Washington’s relationship with its oldest ally and billed it as a chance to salute the better-than-expected trans-Atlantic unity among the U.S. and its European allies on display since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But while Macron’s arrival in Washington comes at a pivotal moment in the bilateral relationship, many European observers are also paying attention to the areas of divergence over issues related to trade and Western unity as the war in Ukraine drags on.

In a private meeting with U.S. lawmakers yesterday, Macron criticized the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, calling it “super aggressive” toward European companies, according to reports. “I don't want to become a market to sell American products, because I have exactly the same products as you,” Macron reportedly said.

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