Four questions before Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the United States

Emmanuel Macron arrives in the United States overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, French time, for a state visit at the invitation of Joe Biden. He will remain in the country until Friday evening. The program is extensive. 20 minutes tries to give you a summary of what to expect in the next four days.

Some announcements ?

A state visit is above all a ceremonial visit, even if we imagine that Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are not going to talk to each other only about the rain and the good weather. Moreover, we insist on the side of the Elysée on the fact that there will be “substance” in this trip.

The most controversial question at the moment between France and the United States is that of American protectionism in the face of inflation. L’Inflation reduction act disadvantage of course on European and French companies. The Elysée does not imagine the United States, “even less with a Republican chamber” going back on this legislation. At most, we hope for exceptions for certain companies or industries. The question is whether the state visit will be the start of a dialogue on this subject or whether announcements can be made this week.

A symbol ?

There will undoubtedly be many strong images of the presidential couple in this state visit. One of them will be the ceremony at Arlington Military Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by Brigitte Macron, will pay tribute to the unknown American soldier.

But not only: the memory of the French Pierre-Charles L’Enfant will also be honored. Arrived in the luggage of La Fayette during the War of Independence, it was he who, in the newly independent United States, won the competition to build the American federal capital, today Washington DC. He’s buried in Arlington Cemetery, too.

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A bonus ?

Emmanuel Macron will prolong the pleasure a little. The state visit will end Thursday evening with the state dinner but the next day, Friday, heading for Louisiana and New Orleans. The President of the Republic wants to emphasize that France is not the “oldest ally” of the United States for nothing, and that there is a French history here.

We will therefore talk about culture and Francophonie, because there are small French-speaking communities on the banks of the Mississippi. The use of French among Cajuns and Creoles is now residual, but Emmanuel Macron will announce a fund for the French language which should “allow better dissemination and better learning in American schools”, details the Elysée.

A gift ?

Formally, Joe Biden invites Emmanuel Macron during this state visit, and it is customary for the invited head of state to offer a gift to the guest. During the previous visit, under Donald Trump, the French president had offered an oak cutting, to illustrate the strength of the relationship between France and the United States. This time, we don’t yet know what the Macron’s gift to the Bidens will be. We at least know, unlike the last time, that it will be a “very personalized” gift, in addition to being “made in France” and “significant of what we are here”, specifies the Elysée.

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