French President Emmanuel Macron criticized President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on Wednesday, telling U.S. lawmakers that the act is “super aggressive” towards European companies.
Macron made the remarks during a closed-door meeting with lawmakers at the Library of Congress, a participant at the meeting told Reuters.
Macron also brought up the IRA at a speech at the French embassy Wednesday, saying that it will “fragment the West.”
“There is a risk today, that we must discuss among friends. The risk is that, in the face of the challenges I mentioned, the U.S. looks first to the U.S., which is normal, we do the same, then looks at its rivalry with China, and that Europe, and therefore France, becomes a sort of adjustment variable … The cost of the war is not the same in Europe and in the U.S. But most importantly, the choices made, whose goals I share, especially the IRA or the Chips Act, are choices that will fragment the West because they create such differences between the U.S. and Europe, that those who work in these companies/industries will simply decide not to keep investing on the other side of the Atlantic. These choices can only work if there is coordination between us,” Macron said.
The IRA includes tax incentives and domestic manufacturing requirements to boost American manufacturing. European leaders have expressed concern about the act being protectionist and having the potential to hurt European economies. (RELATED: Macron Caught Breaking Some Bad News To Biden On G7 Sidelines)
The French president is the first foreign leaders to be hosted by Biden for a State Dinner since the beginning of Biden’s term. Macron and his wife, Brigitte, arrived in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Macron visited the NASA Headquarters on Wednesday with Vice President Kamala Harris, where the two leaders focused on collaborating in space.
“Space remains a place of undiscovered and unrealized opportunity. For that reason, there is so much potential in terms of the work that nations can do there, in particular when we work together based on shared principles and values,” Harris said.
Biden and Macron will have a bilateral meeting followed by a joint press conference Thursday, followed by a State Dinner. They are expected to speak about Ukraine, China, Iran, Africa and the climate.