Daily Management Review

France opposes EU-US trade negotiations


France will vote against trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States, despite the fact that the rest of the Europeans agreed to start negotiations with Washington. A statement from the Chancellery of the Elysée Palace states that France is likely to be the only country to vote against. Voting will take place on Monday at a meeting of EU ministers of agriculture of the EU.

Remi Jouan
Remi Jouan
President Macron wants the US to return to the Paris climate agreement first. He is also not satisfied with the regular threats from overseas to introduce tariffs on European goods and products.

Ambassadors of the 28 EU members agreed to start transatlantic negotiations. Last July, Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to truce in trade disputes with the condition not to introduce new tariffs and sign at least a limited trade agreement between the US and the EU. However, on Tuesday, President Trump returned to the old course and threatened the EU with tariffs of $ 11.2 billion for the fact that Airbus receives subsidies from the European Commission and therefore has an advantage in competition with American aircraft manufacturers.

“Europe has an advantage over commerce for many years,” Donald Tramp wrote in a tweet. “It will be over soon.”

Paris will defiantly vote “against”, although France understands that this will not change anything. Issues such as EU negotiations with other states require a qualified majority, not an absolute one. Nevertheless, the French demonstrative position spoils European unity on such an important issue. European leaders tried to persuade Emmanuel Macron to refuse to vote “against”, promising to raise the climate issue at the talks and demand Washington to guarantee environmental protection. However, the French leader showed obstinacy and, as an explanation of his stubbornness, he recalled another threat from the White House to introduce tariffs against Europe, as well as a demonstrative refusal to cancel tariffs for European steel and aluminum.

The French also recalled that the negotiations on the conclusion of a comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and the US (TTIP) were stalled due to the tough position of the American party. Paris, Berlin and Vienna have a reason to be afraid that the agreement in this form will adversely affect European standards of food and health care.

The main supporter of the signing of a limited trade agreement is Berlin. On the one hand, Germany wants to appease the United States, relations with which have deteriorated significantly, and on the other, the country hopes to avoid introduction of American tariffs on European cars, which will hit the strong German car industry first.

By the way, during the discussion on Thursday it was agreed that negotiations would immediately stop if the United States introduced new tariffs and duties on European goods, including cars.

source: reuters.com