Joe Biden Meets With French President Macron, Feigns Ignorance Of Submarine Deal


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

President Joe Biden kowtowed to France’s President Emmanuel Macron as he admitted to him that the United States mishandled its nuclear submarine deal with Australia.

The deal in which the United States agreed to give nuclear submarine technology to Australia killed a deal France had with the Australians on a major submarine contract, NPR reported.

“What happened was, to use an English phrase — what we did was clumsy. It was not done with a lot of grace. I was under the impression certain things had happened that hadn’t happened,” President Biden said.

“I was under the impression that France had been informed long before that the deal was not coming through. Honest to God, I did not know that you had not been,” he said.

He said that France is “an incredible, valued partner,” and that “we have no older and no more loyal, no more decent ally than France.”

But the American president admitting that he was in the dark on such a major deal that affected two ally nations is incredible.


How could he not know that France had not been informed of the deal.

The French president said, “we clarified together what we had to clarify. The U.S. was not the only party at stake,” he said. “And now what’s important is precisely to be sure that such a situation will not be possible for our future.”

But it was a major issue when it first happened and caused an international incident as France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in response to being excluded from a deal to build nuclear-powered submarines for Canberra’s navy as China continues to exert undue influence over the region and expand its own naval fleet.

“At the request of the President of the Republic, I have decided to immediately recall our two ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday.

“This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on 15 September by Australia and the United States,” Le Drian added.


The foreign minister cited the cancellation of the submarine deal specifically as the reason for the recall.

“The cancellation of the Attack class submarine program binding Australia and France since 2016, and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States meant to launch studies on a possible future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, constitute unacceptable behavior between allies and partners, whose consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe,” Le Drian said.

In addition, France’s ambassador to Australia, Jean-Pierre Thebault, was recalled as well. On Friday, he said that his country was “deliberately kept in the black” about being cut out of the submarine deal.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly also issued a joint statement with Le Drian:

The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner such as France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether in terms of our values or in terms of respect for multilateralism based on the rule of law, shows a lack of coherence that France can only note and regret.

President Joe Biden announced the trilateral deal between the U.S., the UK, and Australia to build the nuclear-powered subs, Australia’s first, as the continent races to replace its aging conventionally-powered sub fleet while China’s navy dramatically expands.

Previously, Australia and France had agreed to a $90 billion program to build six French-designed nuke subs, but Canberra scrapped it in favor of vessels that would be more interoperable with U.S. and British naval vessels.

“It’s really a stab in the back. We had established a relationship of trust with Australia. This trust has been betrayed,” Le Drian said separately on Friday.

Test your skills with this Quiz!