Biden, Macron Seek Alignment on China Policy After Tensions

(Bloomberg) -- US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on the need to better cooperate to counter China’s economic practices, a topic that has sometimes caused friction between the two leaders.

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Macron hosted Biden on Saturday in Paris for a state visit, where they discussed steps the US and Europe could take to make their economies more resilient against Chinese imports.

“We voiced the same concerns about China’s potentially unfair practices, which result in the creation of overcapacity, a subject of such importance to the global economy that we need to act in a coordinated manner,” Macron told reporters.

Biden did not raise the topic during a press availability with Macron. But while chatting earlier under an umbrella in a courtyard of the Élysée Palace, Biden told Macron the US and Europe ought to “coordinate together” on domestic investments.

Reporters heard Biden tell Macron about his last discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who Biden said had objected to US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles. Biden said he defended the import duties during the conversation.

Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act has irked European leaders, including Macron, who worry that the billions of dollars in subsidies it authorized to make the US clean-energy sector more competitive against China’s could disadvantage European firms. Biden has touted the measure as the largest-ever US investment in fighting climate change.

“We’re working together to accelerate the transition to net zero. It is the existential threat to humanity,” the US president said Saturday, referring to global warming.

Biden traveled to France to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which paved the way for the Allies’ defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. He delivered a pair of speeches about the need to defend democracy against new threats, including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the rise of isolationism championed by Republican Donald Trump.

Macron hosted Biden later Saturday for a state dinner, where both leaders toasted the long-standing ties uniting the two countries.

“We are allies, and allies we will remain,” Macron said.

“May we continue to seek democracy — in both our languages — and may we always stay together,” Biden said.

(Updates with state dinner starting in ninth paragraph.)

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