Wednesday, 8 February, 2023
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Biden to host Macron for White House state visit

Biden to host Macron for White House state visit

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France's Emmanuel Macron was set to be hosted by President Joe Biden at the White House Thursday for a state visit mixing sumptuous ceremonies with hard-edged talks on transatlantic trade and how to manage a rising China.

A military honor guard was due to be standing ready at the White House to welcome the French leader, accompanied by his wife, Brigitte, before the two presidents meet in the Oval Office for what are expected to be substantial discussions as they seek to defuse tensions over what Macron has described as "aggressive" subsidies for US manufacturers.

They were to give a joint press conference ahead of winding up the day with a lavish dinner featuring French favorites of wine and cheese -- but in both cases American-made.

The two governments have emphasized their historic links -- France is the United States' oldest ally -- as well as their close partnership in the Western alliance confronting Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, Macron made clear, in unusually blunt language, that he is not just in Washington to discuss the easy parts of the relationship.

At a lunch with lawmakers and business leaders Wednesday, he lashed out at Biden's signature policy called the Inflation Reduction Act, which is set to pour billions of dollars into environmentally friendly industries, with strong backing for US-based manufacturers.

The White House touts the IRA legislation as a groundbreaking effort to reignite US manufacturing and promote renewable technologies. European Union governments are crying foul, threatening to launch a trade war by subsidizing their own green economy sector.