© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Joe Biden (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron converse after posing for an off-the-cuff group picture at a bench after a working dinner throughout the G7 Summit held at Elmau Fortress, in Kruen close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany June 26,
By Michel Rose and John Irish
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron might be hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden subsequent week in a uncommon state go to aimed toward highlighting Franco-American friendship somewhat than the bitter financial competitors between the 2 sides of the pond.
Greater than a 12 months after Washington, London and Canberra torpedoed a giant French submarine contract, pushing Franco-US relations to breaking level, the 2 nations are anticipated to placed on a present of unity on widespread threats from Russia and China.
However the elephant within the Oval Room would be the U.S. Inflation Discount Act (IRA). Europeans say the huge subsidy package deal to U.S. producers might deal a deadly blow to their industries, that are already reeling from excessive vitality costs attributable to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Macron will attempt to persuade the US it’s of their curiosity to not weaken European corporations at a time Western allies are going through intense financial competitors from China, which they are saying makes use of its financial may as diplomatic leverage.
“The pitch might be: there’s clearly a Chinese language problem and we may help get others within the EU out of their naivete on this. However you’ll be able to’t ask us to assist on China and do an IRA on us,” a French diplomat advised Reuters on situation of anonymity.
The French chief will attempt to negotiate exemptions for European corporations on the mannequin of these Mexico and Canada has already acquired, a French presidential adviser mentioned.
German carmakers, for which the U.S. is a giant export market, are among the many greatest victims of the IRA package deal which subsides U.S.-made electrical vehicles, the French presidential mentioned. French carmakers don’t export to the U.S. however France has main automotive components suppliers, which might be affected.
Power points can even characteristic prominently within the talks on the White Home, with France hoping to spice up nuclear vitality cooperation. Macron desires France to construct extra nuclear reactors however it’s scuffling with corrosion points at its ageing vegetation.
French utility EDF (EPA:) has drafted in a whole lot of specialized staff, together with welders, from U.S. nuclear plant maker Westinghouse, to assist repair points at French nuclear vegetation and keep away from energy outages in Europe this winter.
Macron can even journey to Louisiana, ostensibly to pay tribute to the state’s French heritage, but in addition to debate vitality points, the French presidential advisor mentioned.
French oil big TotalEnergies owns a giant liquefied terminal within the state on the Gulf of Mexico and Macron, who has complained concerning the excessive value of U.S. gasoline exports, mentioned he’ll carry up the problem with Biden.
“The US produce low cost gasoline however promote it to us at excessive value,” Macron advised French executives on November 8. “And on prime of that they’ve huge subsidies in some sectors that make our initiatives uncompetitive.”
“I feel that is unfriendly and I’ll go to Washington in a spirit of friendship on the finish of the month… to easily plead for a degree enjoying subject,” he mentioned.