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After days of tuning between Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump, came the speech of the French president before the United States Congress. And their differences seem clear.
Despite the personal closeness with Trump that he has shown in his state visit to Washington, Macron harshly charged against nationalism and isolationism , and his words were widely interpreted as a distancing from the political agenda of his counterpart.
According to the French leader, isolationism and nationalism “can be tempting as a temporary remedy for fears.”
“But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world, itwill only exacerbate the fears of citizenship.”
In his speech, Macron also referred to the differences in international trade, Iran or the environment.
In the French president opinion, the United States has invented multilateralism and now needs to reinvent its strategies to create a new world order of the XXI century.
The UN and the NATO military alliance may not be able to fulfill its mandate and guarantee stability if the West ignores the new dangers in the world, the French leader said.
Bonhomy and blows
Analysis by Jon Sope l , editor of the BBC in North America
Macron has just given the rest of the world leaders a masterclass on how to treat Donald Trump : you embrace him, you flatter him when you need to … and you use all these resources to take a big hit.
In a shrewdly elaborated speech, the French president began talking about the agreement between himself and President Trump, something that many considered an overly friendly gesture.
But then the blows began, and they were hard, aimed directly at the political agenda of Donald Trump. On free trade, the importance of science, equality and the policies of the “United States first”.
Then, in a very bold way, Macron borrowed Trump’s slogan to talk about the environment and the importance of the agreement against climate change of which the United States is not a participant. He said it ‘s time to make the Earth big again .
The speech was interrupted by applause and cheers. It was an important moment for the US Congress.
Emmanuel Macron has become a world leader who offers a vision of the world opposed to that of the US president , while maintaining a bonhomie with him. It is a political feat .
In commerce, Macron considered that “a commercial war is not the appropriate response” , since “it would destroy employment and cause an increase in prices”, at a time of commercial tensions between the United States. and the European block.
“We must negotiate through the World Trade Organization (WTO), we write those rules, we should follow them,” he urged.
As for the nuclear agreement with Iran, which Trump considers a “terrible” pact, Macron said that his country will not abandon that agreement, agreed by several powers when President Barack Obama was in power.
“This agreement may not address all concerns, and some important ones, it’s true, but we should not abandon it without having something more substantial in its place.”
However, the French president added: “Iran should never possess nuclear weapons, not now, not in five years, not in ten years, never.”
On environmental issues, Macron said: “Polluting the oceans, and not mitigating CO2 emissions and destroying biodiversity, we are killing the planet.”
Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, one of the achievements of the Obama era, considering that this pact was a “bad agreement” for the first world power.
The agreement, signed by almost 200 countries, seeks to reduce polluting emissions.
“I am sure that one day the United States will return to the Paris Agreement, ” predicted Macron, unleashing a big ovation on the Democratic opposition’s bench.
“Let’s face it: there is no planet B. “
Despite expressing his clear opposition to Trump’s main policies, Macron also highlighted the numerous political and cultural ties between both countries.
In his speech, he quoted the writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, the presidents Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, the author Ernest Hemingway, or the founder of romanticism François-René Chateaubriand.