The French Finance Minister has urged the United States to end its trade war with Europe.
On Thursday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged the United States to end trade tensions with Europe, emphasizing that a “strong” France and Europe are in America’s best interests.
In an interview with AFP, he said, “My message to the US administration on these trade concerns is very clear: let’s get rid of these areas of conflict between the US and Europe as swiftly as possible.”
On the sidelines of this week’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Le Maire was scheduled to meet with White House officials.
The steel and aluminum conflict remains a major source of friction in transatlantic relations.
Former US President Donald Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum in June 2018, claiming national security concerns. The levies were imposed on both US allies and adversaries, and Europe retaliated quickly.
In January, Joe Biden succeeded Trump as president, but he has made no moves to repeal the tariffs.
“There has been progress” in trade talks, but “stumbling barriers” remain, according to Le Maire.
The two parties have until December 1 to reach an agreement.
The French minister urged that the parties take a “few months” to come up with a definitive solution that would stop the prospect of a trade war, which he described as “a thing of the past.”
“Unnecessary” and “counterproductive,” he said of the clashes.
Furthermore, “they inhibit us from working on much more vital subjects,” such as tackling supply chain issues involving semiconductors.
Supply-chain bottlenecks have generated shortages of essential raw materials in several countries, driving prices higher and jeopardizing global growth, according to finance officials gathered for meetings of the IMF, World Bank, G20, and G7.
Le Maire reiterated Biden’s Wednesday remarks, emphasizing the need to “establish our independence on semiconductors,” energy, and other issues.
He claimed that countries can no longer accept a system in which auto plants are operating at half capacity because they rely solely on chips from Taiwan, South Korea, or elsewhere.
However, Washington should not see this shift toward manufacturing self-sufficiency as a threat.
“A more autonomous Europe, with its own technology and value chains, is not against the United States; it is beneficial to the United States,” he stressed.
And, he added, France is a “stable, attractive, and powerful partner in Europe” for the US, as well as an appealing location for US investment. But. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.