Presented as a celebration of the “deep” relationship between two allies, Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the United States is unlikely to produce a miracle for European industrialists, penalized by an American climate law, explains to the AFP Chris Coons, an influential senator close to Joe Biden.
Question: French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to obtain exemptions for European manufacturers, penalized by the “Inflation Reduction Act”, Joe Biden’s great climate law which gives preference to American car manufacturers. Does that seem likely to you?
Answer: “I think this is going to be an important, but difficult conversation,” said the Democratic senator, co-chairman of the parliamentary friendship group with France.
“We passed the largest clean energy transition investment in US history through the Inflation Reduction Act.”
“It passed with 50 votes (out of 100), so it was very, very tight. And that specific clause, about manufacturing electric vehicles in North America, was very dear to a senator from West Virginia,” says he, in reference to the elected Joe Manchin, whose vote is crucial because of the tenuous majority of Joe Biden in the Senate.
This senator has already been the gravedigger of several major projects of the Democratic president.
Q: Can the French however hope for progress on this file?
A: “It will be a delicate negotiation”, predicts the senator from Delaware, whose state benefits “enormously” from the investments of large French groups, such as Dassault or Air Liquide.
“We hope that we will reach a solution where we will increase technology transfers and direct investments to foreigners by the United States and American companies in France and by French companies in the United States”, he indicates.
The senator says he expects this subject “to be on the agenda” of conversations between Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden.
Q: To end the conflict in Ukraine, is the United States beginning to get used to the idea of a negotiated solution?
“No”, sweeps the elected member of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, believing that it is up to Ukraine alone to make this decision.
Emmanuel Macron’s desire to keep an open channel of communication with Mr. Putin has in recent months annoyed the White House
“The Ukrainians have earned the right to determine the trajectory of this war,” he insists.
“I think it is important that President Zelensky has recently indicated that he is open to negotiation,” however, said the senator.
“If we were to pressure Zelensky to cede territory, I don’t see how that would deter Putin, make Ukraine safer, or produce a stable outcome,” he said.