The White House – Briefing Room
Statements and Releases
December 1, 2022
Today, the President of the United States and the President of the French Republic met in Washington during the first State Visit of the Biden-Harris Administration. This special occasion reaffirms a relationship founded on more than two centuries of friendship, economic partnership, defense and security cooperation, and shared commitment to democratic principles, values, and institutions. France is the United States’ oldest ally, and while our relationship is rooted in history, it is oriented squarely toward the future. Building on their joint statement of October 29, 2021, the leaders outlined a shared vision to strengthen security and increase prosperity worldwide, combat climate change, build greater resilience to its effects, and advance democratic values. This vision is built on a shared conviction that the United States and its European allies and partners can better face our greatest challenges and capitalize on our most promising opportunities together. This includes addressing global issues such as climate change and energy transition, investing in technologies and building resilient value chains in strategic sectors such as health, semiconductors, and critical minerals, as well as strengthening our security and defense cooperation.
Transatlantic, European and Global Security
The Presidents resolve to continue working tirelessly for a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. This entails maintaining our nations’ collective defense and security, including through NATO; pursuing a more robust, integrated, and coherent approach to building national and collective resilience against military and non-military threats to our security; and promoting international stability in response to the full range of current threats. The Presidents recognize the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to and interoperable with NATO. European-led missions and operations, such as in Bosnia and the training mission for Ukraine, are positively contributing to transatlantic security.
The Presidents commend the U.S.-France defense relationship and welcome the Statement of Intent signed on November 30, 2022, by the U.S. Secretary of Defense and French Minister of Armed Forces, which allows for increased interoperability and enhanced cooperation in the areas of space, cyberspace, intelligence, and countering malign influence. The Presidents intend to expand defense cooperation on advanced capabilities and key technologies that will be critical to deterrence and defense in the future.
They welcome progress made by the U.S.-France Defense Trade Strategic Dialogue in fostering shared views on defense market access and export issues. The United States and France intend to continue our cooperation to enhance the efficiency of the defense export authorization process, with a view to developing stronger and interoperable defense industrial bases in Europe and in the United States as a means to deliver better military capabilities for the benefit of the Alliance.
The Presidents strongly condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and stress that intentionally targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure constitutes war crimes whose perpetrators must be held accountable. They also condemn and reject Russia’s illegal attempted annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory, in clear violation of international law. The United States and France deplore Russia’s deliberate escalatory steps, notably its irresponsible nuclear rhetoric and its disinformation regarding alleged chemical attacks, and biological and nuclear weapons programs. They reaffirm their nations’ continued support for Ukraine’s defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the provision of political, security, humanitarian, and economic assistance to Ukraine for as long as it takes. This includes the provision of significant resources to support Ukrainian civilian resilience through the winter, including stepping up the delivery of air defense systems and equipment needed to repair Ukraine’s energy grid. The United States and France plan to continue working with partners and allies to coordinate assistance efforts, including at the international conference taking place in Paris on December 13, 2022. They also intend to continue providing robust direct budget support for Ukraine, and to urge the international financial institutions to scale up their financial support.
The United States and France reiterate their duty to uphold applicable international obligations and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. They also reiterate their steadfast resolve to hold Russia to account for widely documented atrocities and war crimes, committed both by its regular armed forces and by its proxies, including mercenary entities such as Vagner and others, through support for international accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, and the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, sanctions, and other means.
The United States and France remain committed to addressing the wider effects of Russia’s war, including working with the international community to build greater resilience to food and energy disruptions.
The United States and France, two nations of the Indo-Pacific, are strengthening their partnership in the Indo-Pacific region to advance prosperity, security, and shared values based on a rules-based international order, transparent governance, fair economic practices, and respect for international law, including freedom of navigation. The United States and France intend to expand their regional diplomatic, development, and economic engagement with a view to building resilience in the Pacific Islands. They also intend to increase practical coordination in the region on maritime security. The United States intends to increase its support and material contributions to air and maritime deployments conducted by France and other European nations in the region.
The United States and France will continue to coordinate on our concerns regarding China’s challenge to the rules-based international order, including respect for human rights, and to work together with China on important global issues like climate change. The Presidents reaffirm the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Both leaders also strongly condemn the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) unprecedented number of unlawful ballistic missile tests this year that violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions and pose a threat to regional peace and stability, and are committed to continue coordination at the UN Security Council to address DPRK violations.
The Presidents renew their resolve to work with African partners to pursue shared governance, security, and economic priorities on the continent. They affirm the importance of African voices in multilateral fora, especially in addressing global crises like climate change, pandemic response and recovery, sustainable energy access, and food insecurity. They aim to support democratic institutions and civil societies in Africa to enhance accountability and the delivery of basic services.
They reaffirm their joint support for the African-led Great Green Wall initiative to address the climate and biodiversity crisis, contributing to sustainable development, peace, and security in the Sahara and Sahel regions. Fighting disinformation and terrorism remain joint priorities of France and the United States on the continent. France and the United States intend to continue to work closely with the African Union and African regional organizations to address the continent’s challenges and seize opportunities to increase trade and investment.
France and the United States are determined to work closely in support of peace and prosperity in the Middle East. The Presidents welcome the launch of the Negev Forum and the second anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, along with the historic breakthrough of the October 2022 Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary agreement. They are determined to sustain joint efforts to urge Lebanon’s leaders to elect a president and advance critical reforms. They remain committed to maintain the means and capabilities necessary for the counterterrorism mission in Iraq and Syria as members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. France and the United States continue to work to improve the grave humanitarian situation faced by the Syrian people as well as to promote a long-lasting, just solution to the Syrian conflict. They will continue engaging with partners in the Middle-East and follow up on the August 2021 Baghdad Conference.
The Presidents also express their respect for the Iranian people, in particular women and youth, who are bravely protesting to gain the freedom to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, which Iran itself has subscribed to and is violating.
They remain determined to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. France and the United States continue to work with other international partners to address Iran’s nuclear escalation, its insufficient cooperation with the IAEA, including on serious and outstanding issues relating to Iran’s legal obligations under its Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, and its destabilizing activities in the Middle East, most urgently its transfers of missiles and drones, including to non-state actors. These transfers can threaten key Gulf partners and stability and security in the region, contravene international law, and now contribute to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. France and the United States will work with partners to enhance cooperation regarding enforcement of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and countering these activities. They will undertake joint efforts aimed at further strengthening the international framework constraining the proliferation of Iranian missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technologies in the region and beyond and in enhancing practical efforts to counter this proliferation.
Nuclear Deterrence, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament
The United States and France reaffirm that nuclear deterrence remains essential for their national security and a core component of NATO’s overall capabilities for deterrence and defense. They reaffirm that the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion, and deter aggression against the Alliance. They reaffirm the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and their opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which does not reflect the increasingly challenging international security environment and is at odds with the existing non-proliferation and disarmament architecture. The United States and France also reaffirm support for their Mutual Defense Agreement and intend to expand their technical cooperation on a wide range of strategic risk reduction topics.
Economy, Emerging Technologies, Trade, and Supply Chains
The bilateral investment and trade relationship between our nations is longstanding and deep, creating significant jobs and prosperity for both. The United States and France reaffirm their commitment to an open and rules-based multilateral trading system, with a modernized WTO at its core. In that spirit, they continue to promote bilateral trade and investments that support supply chain resilience and our high-tech and innovative industries, including aerospace, information technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance. With a view to further enhancing their bilateral trade and investment relationship, they intend to hold discussions on reciprocal facilitation of visa issuance and renewal, and authorizations of stay.
The United States and France are committed to developing diverse and robust supply chains for critical minerals, including through their collaboration in the Mineral Security Partnership and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. They reaffirm their shared goal of accelerating the global green energy transition. They look forward to the work of the U.S.-EU Taskforce on the Inflation Reduction Act to further strengthen the U.S.-EU partnership on clean energy and climate through mutually beneficial ways.
The Presidents are committed to strengthening the U.S.-France alliance across all sectors of space cooperation. They highlight their engagement in continuing the longstanding bilateral cooperation in Earth observation for monitoring and assessing climate change and adapting to its consequences. In that spirit, they plan to working jointly on future Earth science missions. They welcome France’s commitment not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing and will work towards universal adherence to this pledge. The United States and France are determined to deepen collaboration on defense space activities, including military planning, information sharing, and operational coordination. They welcome the June 2022 signings of the Artemis Accords by France and of the Space for Climate Observatory Charter by the United States, as well as the first meeting of the U.S.-France Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Paris in November 2022.
The Presidents welcome the successful first year of the U.S.-France Bilateral Clean Energy Partnership, which convened most recently in October 2022, as the high-level platform to advance our energy and climate cooperation. In reaffirming their joint determination to further synchronize and deepen cooperation on civil nuclear energy, the United States and France plan to set up a nuclear energy small group within the Partnership’s framework. The Partnership’s priorities also include deepening civilian nuclear cooperation and contributing to a reliable nuclear supply chain, in accordance with the highest standards of nuclear nonproliferation, including the application of IAEA Additional Protocol, and by further reducing reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia. The Partnership will promote advanced nuclear power globally, which has a key role to play in order to reduce global CO2 emissions, while continuing efforts to limit the spread of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technology.
The United States and France continue to promote energy policies, technology, and innovation that enhance renewable energy production and accelerated deployment. They intend to continue to support the diversification of Europe’s natural gas supply, including through U.S. liquified natural gas exports, as well as to cooperate in reducing overall demand for natural gas in alignment with climate objectives. The Presidents welcome the progress made through the U.S.-EU Task Force on Energy Security to diversify the EU’s natural gas supplies, reducing its cost and limiting its dependence on natural gas.
Climate and Biodiversity
The Presidents express their deep concern regarding the growing impact of climate change and nature loss and intend to continue to galvanize domestic and global action to address it. France and the United States plan to continue pursuing their efforts to support the phase out of coal as soon as possible, both domestically and in emerging economies. They plan to increase their support towards those countries that host the most critical reserves of irrecoverable carbon and important biodiversity. France and the United States will also work together to protect rainforests and to tackle deforestation and illegal forest clearances, including through the One Forest Summit that will be held early 2023 in Libreville. They will work together to ensure better ocean protection in view of the next UN Ocean Conference that will be held in France in 2025 and are fully mobilized at the highest level for the conclusion of the UN Treaty on the protection of the High Sea in 2023.
Strengthening the International Financial Architecture
France and the United States intend to work jointly to strengthen the international financial architecture to support the most vulnerable countries in a context of multiple shocks, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the repercussions of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the accelerating effects of climate change. The United States and France will also cooperate closely to reduce the financing gap in emerging and developing economies in order to foster sustainable pathways towards net zero. This includes working together to ensure that multilateral systems are delivering timely debt relief from all key creditors to countries in distress.
As two major shareholders, France and the United States reaffirm their determination to drive an evolution of the multilateral development banks, starting with the World Bank, to better address global challenges and support private investment in emerging and developing markets. France and the United States reiterate their commitment to help meet the global ambition of $100 billion U.S. dollars in voluntary contributions as soon as possible for countries most in need, including through the channeling of special drawing rights.
The Presidents affirm their willingness to cooperate to raise the level of ambition on these issues, including at the summit to be held in Paris in June 2023.
Global Health and Food Security
It is fitting that this State Visit coincides with World AIDS Day, given our nations’ leadership in turning the tide of the AIDS pandemic and as the most recent hosts of the replenishments for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, France and the United States plan to intensify their cooperation on global health security and pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, including by supporting the newly established Pandemic Fund, bolstering national health systems, training health workers, and strengthening multilateral institutions including the World Health Organization. The United States and France intend to continue working together to respond to regional and global food security challenges. They also intend to promote and safeguard an open and transparent agricultural market, to invest in resilient food systems, and to refrain from imposing any unnecessary trade obstacles.
Democracy and Human Rights
The Presidents recognize that strengthening democratic values and respect for universal human rights is essential to meeting the unprecedented challenges of our time. They reinforce the commitments they each made at the first Summit for Democracy to support free and independent media, tackle the proliferation of surveillance technologies and disinformation, bolster democratic reformers, and advance technology for democracy. The United States and France intend to strengthen and expand the Freedom Online Coalition, advance the commitments made in the Christchurch Call to Action to counter the dissemination of terrorist and violent extremist content online to better protect human rights both on- and off-line, and plan to promote the principles outlined in the Declaration for the Future of the Internet.
Cyber and Disinformation
The Presidents renew their determination to work alongside partners and stakeholders to advance cybersecurity and to uphold international law and established, non-binding global peacetime norms in cyberspace, including through the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace and through an ambitious United Nations Program of Action. The United States and France plan to hold their fifth U.S.-France Cyber Dialogue in early 2023. They also intend to strengthen bilateral coordination in combating foreign manipulation of information online. They reaffirm their support for independent media at the international level, including through the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM) to be hosted in Paris. The United States and France underscore the importance of last month’s Counter Ransomware Initiative Summit where they and 35 other participants reaffirmed their cooperation to disrupt ransomware globally. Recognizing the growing use of commercial space capabilities to support critical functions and the increasing cybersecurity threats to those capabilities, France and the United States intend to work together to strengthen the cybersecurity of these space systems.
Education and Science Partnerships
The United States and France are committed to deepening their educational cooperation with the shared objective of fostering greater equity and access to excellence in education. Because the power of language and international mobility can lead to meaningful partnerships, they intend to undertake new initiatives to foster language learning, such as facilitating French and English language teaching assistant exchanges between their respective countries. They welcome and support the French for All initiative, which promotes greater and more equitable access to French language education and the benefits of bilingualism for young learners across the United States.
The United States and France aim for a robust network of educational partnerships and exchange programs to reach the next generation of transatlantic leaders who will shape Franco-American relations for decades to come. This includes strengthening the flagship U.S.-French Fulbright Program, which will celebrate the 75th anniversary in 2023. They also intend to develop new ways for young French and Americans to learn about each other’s culture and history, including through Villa Albertine’s residency program for French and Francophone creators across the United States as well as for American creators across France. Likewise, they are creating the “250 for 250” program, which celebrates France’s role in the founding of the United States, and the enduring friendship between their two nations, by sending 250 French students to study or intern in the United States and 250 American students to study or intern in France.
Through technical and scientific exchange, the United States and France intend to deepen their collaboration on shared priorities such as health, the environment, and emerging technologies, including biotechnology, quantum science, and artificial intelligence.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Emmanuel Macron
December 1, 2022