President Biden told a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron that the United States and France are strengthening their partnership to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine, increase the use of clean energy and expand space exploration Cooperation.
The press conference was part of Macron’s three-day state visit.
“Emanuel, thank you again for all you have done for our country to work together,” Biden said. “My administration has built our foreign policy around the strength of our alliance, and France is at the heart of it.”
In his opening remarks, Macron highlighted the cooperation between the two allies in supporting Ukraine and addressing clean energy, and praised Biden for bringing the United States back to the international stage.
“The fact that you’re back on big international challenges like health and climate is really a new deal,” Macron said.
Asked about his efforts to avert railroad strikes, Biden defended his desire for Congress to pass a deal aimed at averting strikes — even though the negotiated agreement did not include paid sick leave for railroad workers.
“The negotiations are coming out much better than they’ve ever been,” Biden said, adding that the strike would cost 750,000 jobs and plunge the U.S. into recession.
He insisted that after Congress passed the draft agreement, the White House would again push for paid leave for all workers in all industries.
Tensions over Democratic climate bill
Biden also said he and Macron had “detailed discussions” on the Lower Inflation Act. French officials have expressed concern about the “Made in America” electric vehicle provision in the law, which they say could put European automakers at a disadvantage. Macron warned that Europe may have to take action in response, including providing subsidies to European companies.
“I drafted this legislation and it never occurred to me that it would exclude those who would work with us,” Biden said at a news conference. In the case of selling us computer chips. We invented the damn thing.”
Biden pledged that the U.S. would continue to create manufacturing jobs, but not at the expense of Europe.
Macron said he and Biden had agreed to “synchronize our approach” on emerging industries to “create more industrial jobs in the long run”.
Both countries focus on Ukraine
Both Biden and Macron agree that Ukraine’s war with Russia needs support. But Biden also said he had “no plans to contact” Russian President Vladimir Putin about the war.
“I have no immediate plans to contact Mr Putin,” he said. “Mr. Putin — I need to choose my words very carefully. I’m prepared to talk to Mr. Putin if, in fact, he’s interested in him — he’s looking for a way to end the war. He hasn’t done that yet. “
“The idea that Putin will ever succeed in defeating Ukraine is unthinkable,” he added.
Macron said he believed the U.S. Congress understood the goals behind supporting Ukraine, even though Republicans in Congress opposed more aid. And, he said, France has also been providing additional assistance.
three-day state visit
Macron’s visit – the first state visit of the Biden-Harris administration – began earlier this week. On Wednesday, Macron and Vice President Kamala Harris visited NASA headquarters. Last year, Macron and Harris agreed that the two countries would step up cooperation in space and cybersecurity.
Later Thursday, Biden and Macron will attend a state dinner that will include a performance by Jon Batiste.