As President Biden welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron for the administration’s first state visit, the French leader told lawmakers Wednesday the Inflation Reduction Act is “super aggressive” in its protectionist climate policies, according to reports.
“This is super aggressive for our business people,” Macron said of the industrial subsidies included in the legislation, according to Agence France-Presse.
The French president’s grievances about the subsidies — which aim to incentivize American-made tech and products — are shared by other European Union countries, which worry the move will hurt European companies.
Macron added that he just wanted “to be respected as a good friend,” and said the subsidies may “perhaps fix your issue but you will increase my problem,” warning it would eliminate jobs in Europe, per the AFP.
That Macron raised the matter during his trip was no surprise: National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said ahead of the visit that the administration was anticipating discussing the issue with French counterparts.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the White House had heard Macron’s comments and is prepared to talk about the issue.
“There’s a number of provisions that will contribute to the growth of clean energy sector globally. And that is important to note. It presents significant opportunities for European firms, as well as benefits to EU energy security. And this is not a zero-sum game for us. And so, we see a constructive path of engagement with the EU on this,” Jean-Pierre said in a press briefing.
Macron is the first foreign leader Biden has hosted in an official state visit since taking office. It’s the French president’s first time back in the U.S. since a 2018 visit during former President Trump’s administration.