Closer relations and renewal of the alliance between Washington and Paris in the face of future opponents
French President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to the US state of Louisiana was just a reminder of the historical depth of US-France relations. However, the first state visit under President Joe Biden – and Macron’s second since his arrival to the Elysee in 2017 – reflects the aspiration of the two allies to dispel the differences that have arisen during the past years, and to develop close ties in the future at all political, military and economic levels across the Atlantic.
Despite the differences that emerged at different periods on the two banks, especially during the era of former US President Donald Trump, the French president did not hide his deep dissatisfaction with the steps taken by President Biden’s administration, including the huge subsidies law and tax exemptions on electric cars and renewable energy projects made in the United States as “extremely hostile” towards Europe. And before the luxurious dinner held in his honor at the White House, Macron spoke on behalf of Europe, considering that my “sincere speech” with Biden paid off. He added, “It was my duty to say (that) in the name of Europe, not just in the name of France.” Because Washington did not discuss the law with the European Union before it was approved. Although he did not address a previous dispute over a deal between Australia and the United States to buy nuclear-fueled submarines at the expense of a huge contract with France to buy diesel submarines, it was clear that the accumulation of differences could “disintegrate the West” in the face of adversaries such as China and Russia.
– Dean of European politicians
With relatively new leaders ruling in Germany, Italy and Britain, Macron has acted as the dean and most pragmatic of European politicians. He enthusiastically defended Europe, which is facing the most dangerous stage since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, due to what he called “imperialist aggression” from Russia against Ukraine, stressing the exceptional role played by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in curbing the ambitions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, knowing that he described The Western military alliance declared 2019 “brain dead.”
Perhaps this is the reason for the warm American welcome to Macron’s visit, who extracted an unexpected, albeit conditional, agreement from Biden to communicate with Putin “if he ends his war” on Ukraine. This was a success for the French president, who is facing a relentless attack inside his country from the left; For his preference for the rich over the poor and his proposal to gradually raise the retirement age to 65 years, and from the right because of his tolerance of immigration, Macron made strides in the United States towards overcoming tensions regarding the economy and the best ways to end the war. At a lunch in his honor, Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Macron as having an “extraordinary vision” and “a motivating force for all of us, for all of our partners.” We cannot do without it.”
“We fixed everything.”
Although he talked a lot about the differences even before his state visit to the United States, Macron displayed his statesmanship at the luncheon, which was also attended by Vice President Kamala Harris at the Foreign Ministry. He said in English that his meeting with Biden lasted three hours; Because we “fixed everything”. He spoke at length extemporaneously of the “unique bond” between the United States and France as two countries “too proud or too sure of ourselves (…);” Because we believe we are responsible for protecting certain universal values, “like the freedom that young American soldiers defended when they died on European soil.” “We will never forget that,” he added. The two leaders found common ground to deal with China’s attempts to expand its influence through oppressive and coercive policies against its neighbors and with the wider world.
From the war, Macron turned to domestic politics, pointing to the “re-emergence of racism and hate speech” in Western societies. He thanked the United States for distancing itself from the “demagogues,” an implicit reference to the Trump era.
While in New Orleans, Louisiana, Macron met billionaire Elon Musk, who launched huge projects for the electric car industry, space exploration and finally bought the Twitter social networking platform. Officials said the meeting, which was not on Macron’s agenda, took place at Musk’s request. Macron wrote in a tweet, “In line with our ambition to become carbon-neutral and re-manufacture in France and Europe, I spoke (…) with Elon Musk about future green industrial projects, in particular the manufacture of electric cars and batteries in Europe.” Macron also said he had a “clear and honest discussion” about Twitter, days after a senior EU official warned Musk that the company should do more to protect users from harmful content.
– “French” Louisiana
Prior to his return to France, Macron gave a speech at the New Orleans Museum of Art, in which he said he felt he had returned home. He said, “There is what I would call a familiar strangeness in this city,” explaining that “our language and our history are here.”
Many saw that the visit was the first to Louisiana by a French president since former President Valerie Giscard d’Estaing’s trip to Lafayette and New Orleans in 1976, noting that the only other French president to visit Louisiana was Charles de Gaulle in 1960.
When meeting with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, President Macron said, “This state visit enables us to place France, and with France Europe, at the center of the United States’ agenda. Despite the dangers of climate change in a state where tens of thousands of jobs are linked to the oil and gas industry, Macron said his stop in New Orleans was “very symbolic” for climate-related efforts. “Like me, President Macron believes climate change is real,” Edwards said.
Louisiana is named after Louis XIV, the famous Sun King who ruled France for 72 years, starting in 1643. New Orleans is where the United States completed the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803.