France sees smoother commerce ties with the US if Biden triumphs, Minister says


© Reuters. The French Minister of Culture, Riester, speaks to artists in Paris after a video conference

PARIS (Reuters) – France expects smoother trade relations with the United States should Democratic candidate Joe Biden win the presidential election, with a stronger focus on sustainable development and more multilateral cooperation, said Secretary of Commerce Franck Riester.

President Donald Trump has subsequently imposed tariffs on Airbus subsidies on French weeping, threatened taxes on champagne and luxury handbags in a digital tax dispute and pursued an isolationist "America First" position.

When asked whether France had expected that a Biden presidency would bring more reconciliation, Riester told Reuters: "We would certainly see an improvement in relations. We would be more focused on issues of sustainable development and perhaps also on multilateral work . "

Biden took a razor-thin lead in front of President Donald Trump in the battlefield state of Georgia early Friday, nearing the White House win.

Biden's camp said during the campaign that it would end the "artificial trade war" Trump waged against Europe while removing imbalances in agricultural trade with the bloc.

France has imposed a new 3% tax on the revenues of large tech companies but has agreed to suspend payments this year while international talks are under way on taxing giants like Google (O 🙂 and Facebook (O :). In return, Trump agreed to suspend a tariff war until the end of 2020.

Riester said it was too early to know if the tariffs on champagne, French cheese and handbags would be imposed in retaliation for the new digital tax. He said France was obliged to negotiate, led by the OECD, to revise its cross-border tax rules.

In the meantime, EU countries have finalized a list of products the bloc would target with tariffs in a dispute over subsidies between aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing (NYSE :). According to Riester, the aerospace, food and manufacturing industries were the sectors most likely to be affected.

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Steven Gregory