U.S. Inflation Reduction Act ‘super aggressive,’ Macron tells lawmakers

WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron addressed US lawmakers from both political parties on Wednesday and pushed back over new American subsidies that are weighing on European leaders, according to a participant in a closed-door meeting. .

Macron arrived in Washington on Tuesday for his second state visit to the United States since taking office in 2017, and French officials previously said he would confront President Joe Biden about the subsidies contained in the act. for Inflation Reduction (IRA).

Biden and Macron, along with their wives Jill and Brigitte, took an early opportunity to meet before their formal talks on Thursday. They rode in the US presidential motorcade a short distance from the White House to the historic Georgetown area and dined at Fiola Mare, an Italian restaurant.

In a meeting with US lawmakers at the Library of Congress, Macron said the Inflation Reduction Act was “very aggressive” towards European companies, one participant told Reuters. The participant requested anonymity to discuss a private part of the meeting.

Macron’s office declined to confirm the comment, which was first reported by Agence France-Presse.

European lawmakers have complained about the legislative package, signed by Biden in August, which offers huge subsidies for US-made products, which they say puts non-American companies at an unfair disadvantage and would be a serious blow to his economies and Europe dealing with the fallout from. Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.

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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the legislation offers “significant opportunities for European businesses as well as benefits for EU energy security,” when asked about European concerns.

The IRA has provisions that will help grow the clean energy sector around the world, she said.

In opening remarks at the Library of Congress with reporters present, Macron said that France and the United States should join forces to reform the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank so that their funds can be directed to countries affected by climate change.

After Republicans won the House of Representatives in this month’s midterm elections, Macron’s efforts to reach out to both parties were a recognition that he must look beyond Biden, a Democrat, to promote cooperation with Washington, which says the French official.

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Macron is the first foreign leader to receive a state dinner at the Biden White House, a sign of his importance to Washington despite some differences with the Biden administration. Thursday’s formal dinner will feature music by Jon Batiste, Chardonnay from the Napa Valley and cheddar cheese from a family creamery in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, according to details provided by first lady Jill Biden’s office.

‘ROGUE STATE’ IN SPACE

Earlier, Macron visited NASA headquarters with Vice President Kamala Harris, and said that US-French cooperation was important to combat the risk of conflict in space. The two announced a new collaboration between the US and France on space during a meeting in Paris a year ago.

Macron said space represents a “new place of conflict” and that it was important for France and the United States to work together on setting rules and norms because they share a commitment to science as well as democratic values.

“We also have crazy players in space, and we have rogue states there and we have new hybrid attacks,” Macron said, speaking in English.

France joined the United States and many other nations in halting direct destructive anti-satellite missile testing after Russia shot one of its own satellites into orbit last year, creating debris and drawing alarm from the States United and its allies.

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The United States, which last demonstrated such a missile in 2008, announced its ban on the tests in April.

Macron’s visit came as NATO ministers met in Bucharest and pledged more aid to Ukraine to help counter Russian attacks on energy infrastructure as winter worsens.

The alliance, of which the United States and France are founding members, was also discussing how to address challenges related to China’s military buildup and its cooperation with Russia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. Macron has said in the past that China should not be the focus of NATO.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on a briefing call that China would be at the top of the agenda during Macron’s visit “because of displacing and demonstrating China’s global influence and because China’s ongoing security challenges, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Reporting by Michel Rose; Additional reporting by Joey Roulette and Michael Martina; Simon Lewis wrote; Editing by Will Dunham and Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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