French President Emmanuel Macron made a startling turnaround towards his approach towards Trumpism in his speech to the Congress. The French head repudiated the worldview and political philosophy of President Trump as he tried to save the world order from President Trump’s “America First” nationalism which is embedded in US international approach.
Macron was trying to weave the US administration into the already present Western International System to push the US to get back into the multilateral efforts in order to tackle Iran, pursue strategies against climate change and preserve globalization and free trade. Additionally, it was evident that French President was trying to portray France as the main link between US and Europe especially as Britain has withdrawn from EU and there is a marked decline in the position of Angela Merkel politically. However, the underlying aims of French leader cannot be accomplished without convincing Trump to compromise on his stand about pressing world issues and not derail the existing world order.
Despite the remarkable chemistry shared and seen in the last 2 days between Macron and Trump, the deep-seated contradictions became apparent in the Congress address of Macron which sounded similar to a State of Union address by a Democrat President. President Macron clearly stated that one should not take for granted the transatlantic ties or even common values for granted thereby putting liberal international values under siege. This will give shape to a new world order which is based on fundamental values, laws and human rights. He deplored the abandoning of freedom and the pursuit of vain nationalism by some new strong powers of the world which was seen as a contrast to Trump’s usual praise of Putin and Xi Jinping.
Macron thus urged US to return to multilateralism, the strategy which has been followed by the US but has been derided as Trump administration has pulled out from the Paris Climate Deal and also its criticism of many global pacts on trade. He reiterated that the global system which has been built and pursued by the US since the end of the WW-II is at a critical junction and needs to be preserved. French President also warned that US and France should honour the current JCPOA under international obligations. He also called on US President to grant permanent exemptions to EU on metal tariffs.
The speech which came as a surprise to many is not sure how it will be perceived by the President but it does buy Macron a cushion against any political damage due to happen in future after he returns from his love celebrations with Trump who is not very popular in Europe.