The first official state dinner held by the Joe Biden administration had a wide-ranging guest list that included the Chief Executive Officers of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing.
The list included Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, as well as the CEO of Boeing, David Calhoun. Joining the gala was also Scott Kirby, United Airlines chief executive, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Administrator Bill Nelson. Rodolphe Saadé, the chairman of CMA CGM, a French logistics firm that began its own air cargo operations in 2021, was also present.
Other aviation-related figures included Pete Buttigieg, who is the current US Secretary of Transportation, which heads the Department of Transportation (DoT).
The state dinner put heavy emphasis on US and French relations, as Biden also welcomed France’s current president, Emmanuel Macron. “France is one of our strongest partners and historically – but one of our strongest partners and our most capable allies and Emmanuel has also become a friend in addition to being President of that great country,” remarked Biden before a bilateral meeting with Macron.
“We agreed to discuss practical steps to coordinate and align our approaches so that we can strengthen and secure the supply chains, manufacturing, and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic,” Biden added.
In turn, Macron responded: “President Biden wishes to create more industrial jobs in the long run for his country and to build a strong industry and secure your supplies, and this is very much our approach as well”. The French head of state went on to declare that Europe and the US intend to coordinate in bringing more jobs in the US and Europe, in order to “guarantee the strength and the resilience of our supply chains, and to do that with a strong integration”.
In June 2021, the European Union (EU) and the US agreed to end their Airbus and Boeing-related trade war, whereupon both sides agreed to remove taxes on various goods stemming from subsidies granted to their respective aircraft manufacturers.