Biden bows to France’s Macron, admits Democrats’ $740 billion climate law

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Biden on Thursday conceded that his $740 billion tax-and-climate law includes “glitches” but said he wouldn’t apologize for his seminal legislative accomplishment despite sharp criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr. Biden mounted his defense of the Inflation Reduction Act in a joint press conference with Mr. Macron following the two leaders’ Oval Office confab.

“The United States makes no apology, and I make no apologies, since I wrote it, for the legislation,” Mr. Biden told reporters. “But there are occasions when you write a massive piece of legislation … there’s obviously going to be glitches in it, and the need to reconcile changes.”

Though he said he wouldn’t apologize, Mr. Biden said he didn’t intend to harm his European allies.

“It was never intended, when I wrote the legislation, to exclude folks who were cooperating with us,” Mr. Biden said. “That was not the intention.”

He is hosting Mr. Macron for the first state visit of the Biden presidency, including a state dinner.

Mr. Macron is among a chorus of European leaders who say the tax-and-climate law — which includes generous tax credits for U.S.-manufactured electric vehicles — threatens to crush their manufacturing as automakers move operations across the Atlantic to capitalize on the incentives.

Mr. Macron chided the protectionist provisions in the law as “super aggressive” in a closed-door meeting Wednesday with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to Agence France-Presse.

The matter has been a key point of contention between the two countries that has marred an official visit meant to showcase the close ties between the U.S. and its oldest ally.

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