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The Future of the US-France Relationship

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25.4.1967 Trauerfeierlichkeiten für Konrad Adenauer Empfang der Staats- und Regierungschefs in der Godesberger Redoute von rechts (1. Reihe): US-Präsident Lyndon B. Johnson, Bundespräsident Heinrich Lübke, Staatspräsident Charles de Gaulle

Some thoughts at 1945 on the latest dust up…

Globally, much of what the United States wants to do in geopolitical terms requires the cooperation of Europe, and of course, France remains one of the most influential powers in Europe. In particular, US efforts to develop a technology alliance designed both to boost innovation and to keep the most advanced technologies out of Chinese hands requires enthusiastic European participation. Europe has its own reasons to jealously defend its tech sector, but US action may dampen some enthusiasm in France for paying the more serious costs of trade discrimination.

I will comp to being excessively flip regarding France’s unhappiness when the fracas broke, and I would still say that France over-reacted to the announcement of the deal. That said, diplomacy is about relationships and the Americans and the Australians repeatedly lied to the French in face-to-face settings. A government has to respond to that, if only to protect the honor and morale of its diplomatic corps.

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