Washington Despite tensions in transatlantic trade relations, France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden wanted to close ranks. “The United States could not wish for a better partner in this world than France,” said Biden in reference to current crises on Thursday.
The US President received his French counterpart with military honors on the South Lawn of the White House. Macron is on a state visit lasting several days United States. Macron had previously sharply criticized recent economic decisions in the United States.
Biden received Macron and his wife Brigitte as the first foreign state guest since taking office with a festive ceremony. In contrast to regular work visits, the protocol involved in a state visit is much higher.
In addition to the US President and his wife Jill, Vice President Kamala Harris and numerous US ministers also welcomed the guests France welcome to an approximately one-hour official welcome ceremony. In honor of the visit, the military band played the anthems of the United States and France, and the reception was accompanied by cannon shots. Numerous guests gathered in sunshine and cold temperatures and cheered the French visitors.
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The United States and France must “become brothers in arms again,” Macron said, referring to the “return of war on European soil after the Russian aggression against Ukraine.” The democracies on both sides of the ocean would be rocked by the same dangers.
He cited hate speech and false information as examples. The day before, Macron had also focused on an issue that is currently straining relations between the two countries. He warned of a split in Western forces over a US government law that Biden sees as the greatest success of his tenure to date.
Macron warns of division in the West
The so-called Inflation Reduction Act is intended to boost US industry and give it preference over foreign competitors. Subsidies and tax credits are linked to companies using US products or producing them themselves in the US. Macron warned that this would create such disparities that many companies would no longer invest in Europe. The decisions taken “are decisions that will fragment the West,” Macron said at the French embassy in Washington.
Whether Macron and Biden can get the issue out of the way before the festive state banquet on Thursday evening (local time) initially remained open. The dinner is the highlight of Macron’s state visit.
The dinner should be harmonious – the White House has been working on it for six months. The menu features American specialties, including Maine lobster and wine from California’s Napa Valley. American cheese should also be served. The White House said it was “outstanding and award-winning cheeses.” The French pride themselves on their cheese, which also plays a prominent role on the world market. The dinner will be accompanied musically by jazz and soul musician Jon Batiste.
The design of the dinner was inspired by the identical colors of the flags of both countries and is red, white and blue, said the US First Lady, Jill Biden, according to the White House about the table decoration. “I learned that setting a table can be an act of love – and having my own family I did my best to keep that tradition alive.” The banquet will be held in a heated pavilion on the south lawn of the White House instead. Hundreds of guests were expected.
Following the program in Washington, the French President wants to travel to the metropolis of New Orleans in the US state of Louisiana. The US government stressed that France is the United States’ oldest ally.
In the past year there had been in relations between the two Natopartners crunched because France missed out on billions in submarine business because of a new security alliance in the Indo-Pacific, in which the US is involved.