French minister: USA unlikely to be a friendly partner whoever wins election

French minister: USA unlikely to be a friendly partner whoever wins election
France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire. Photo: AFP
The outcome of the presidential vote will have little impact on US-Europe trade relations, France's finance chief asserted on Wednesday, saying Washington is unlikely to drop its confrontational stance whether Donald Trump wins or not.

“Let's not kid ourselves. The United States has not been a friendly partner to European states for several years now,” Bruno Le Maire told Radio Classique.

“Whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump is elected by Americans tonight or tomorrow, nothing changes this strategic fact,” he said.

“The American continent has detached itself from the European continent.”

The US administration has inflicted billions of dollars' worth of tariffs on European imports over the past four years, with Trump claiming unfair barriers against American firms trying to compete on continental markets.

His administration has also targeted China, saying it too had caused the American trade deficit to plunge by blocking US goods even while exporting massively to the US.

“Fundamentally, the only shift in American thinking is with regards to China, their relations with China and Asia as a whole,” Le Maire said.

“Europe is now merely an adjustment variable for the United States,” he said.

French winegrowers have also been hit by tariffs in retaliation for France's efforts to make tech giants like Google and Facebook pay tax in the countries where they trade.


Member comments

  1. If I were a European, I know who I would want in the White House. It would help if Europe honored its NATO financial commitments under a Biden Administration. I would expect Trump to withdraw from NATO unilaterally and with no advance warning. If Putin then made a grab for the Baltic states, what would the EU do?

  2. There are still some alive who remember why France needed the US. And many died trying to reclaim France’s independence.

  3. This is ridiculous. US trade policy under the Obama administration did not needlessly impose tariffs on European goods, nor discard strategic military alliances with France, the EU, or NATO. France was the US’s 8th-largest global trade partner for much of the Obama administration.

    Attempting to be nonpartisan in a strange pessimistic way is bizarre. Trump is a disaster for France, for the US, and for the world. A Biden win would lead to rapid removal of the wine tariff and reassertion of NATO responsibilities. Not sure what LeMaire is playing here, or if he’s just deeply mistaken.

    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/11/fact-sheet-united-states-france-economic-and-commercial-partnership

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