Macron and Biden in the White House
Photo: CHRIS KLEPONIS / POOL / EPA
The USA and France are at odds over an economic policy law with which the USA is focusing on more local production - during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Joe Biden has now defended his course.
"The United States does not apologize," Biden said at a White House press conference with Macron.
There are minor things that could be discussed and resolved.
But Biden defended the line that the US did not want to rely on supply chains in other parts of the world.
Europe has the same goal and can do the same.
Macron has been on a state visit to the United States since Wednesday.
The Frenchman is the first foreign guest in Biden's tenure to receive this honor in almost two years.
However, the visit comes at a time of tension in the transatlantic trade relationship: the trigger for the dispute among allies is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a $430 billion package of legislation for energy security and combating climate change.
EU countries fear discrimination
EU countries fear the law will disadvantage European companies and encourage exodus to the US.
The law is intended to boost US industry and favor it over foreign competitors.
Subsidies and tax credits are linked to companies using US products or producing them themselves in the US.
At the start of his visit to the USA, Macron warned that the differences would be so great that numerous companies would no longer invest in Europe.
"The decisions made (...) are decisions that will divide the West," he had said.
Biden said there are details that could be tweaked.
Macron and he would have commissioned their teams to solve problems.
There is no intention to exclude other countries.
"We will continue to create manufacturing jobs in America, but not at the expense of Europe," Biden said.
"The intention was to make sure we didn't end up in a situation where a pandemic breaks out in Asia and China decides to stop selling us computer chips."
Macron hopes for a joint solution
Macron expressed hope for a common solution.
"Basically, we share the same vision and the same will." The US and France wanted "to succeed together, not against each other."
It is about a common strategy to create more industrial jobs - both in the USA and in Europe - and to ensure the resilience of the supply chains.
On other issues, the two presidents emphasized their unity, also with regard to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
"Today we, France and the United States, together with all our allies - our NATO allies and the G7 countries, the European Union - reaffirm that we stand as strongly as ever against Russia's brutal war against Ukraine," said Biden.
The US and France would continue to work together to hold Russia accountable.
Biden generally emphasized that the USA and France are particularly close partners and share the same values.
"We occasionally have minor differences of opinion, but never of a fundamental nature." The US President received Macron with military honors at the White House on Thursday.
A festive state banquet was scheduled for the evening.
Following the program in Washington, the French President wants to travel to New Orleans on Friday.