United States President Donald Trump and his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron did not see eye to eye in talks the two engaged in on Monday evening, according to a senior diplomatic source with knowledge of the meeting.
Trump was “ranting and venting on trade” with Macron earlier in the week, the aide said, according to reporting from CNN. Trump said that European Union trade policies toward the United States were worse than China during the interaction between the leaders, the same aide added
For his own part, Macron was respectful to Trump during the meetings, the source said, although he did push back when it was necessary for his own nation’s interests. There was “some rapport” between the two leaders, the source added, “but it’s not what it (once) was.”
The following day, during his remarks to the UN General Assembly, Macron made subtle jabs to the U.S., saying that “bilateral agreements, [and] new protectionisms, will not work,” likely referencing international trade deals that Trump was hoping to push for.
Macron added within the same speech that France would no longer enter into any trade deals with nations that had abandoned the Paris Climate Pact. This was likely a subtle dig at the United States, as Trump had removed the U.S. from the agreement in June 2017.
“We will no longer sign commercial agreements with powers that do not respect the Paris accord,” Macron said on Tuesday, according to reporting from the Hill.
Trump doesn’t always agree with Macron on myriad issues, but the two have a unique relationship. It was because of one of his visits to France during Bastille Days that Trump insisted the U.S. throw a military parade, an event that has since been postponed due to the price tags associated with it, according to the Telegraph.
Trade is not the only issue on which the two leaders disagree. During a Wednesday meeting of the UN Security Council — of which, the U.S., France, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom are permanent members — Trump defended his decision for the U.S. to withdraw from a 2015 agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. Trump called the previous agreement a “horrible, one-sided deal,” according to Bloomberg.
Yet Macron, again, seemed to disagree with Trump. “We are all united around this table that Iran must not be able to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” Macron emphasized, but added that “sanctions and containment,” on their own, would not resolve the issue.