France sees smoother trade relationship with United States if Biden triumphs, minister says

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French Culture Minister Franck Riester addresses the media at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on May 6, 2020 following a video conference between the French president and several artist representatives as the country is strictly locked down to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Ludovic Marin / Pool via REUTERS / Files

PARIS (Reuters) – France expects smoother trade relations with the United States if Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins the presidential poll, with better alignment on sustainable development and more multilateral cooperation, the minister said of Commerce Franck Riester.

President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on French wines as a result of Airbus subsidies, threatened champagne and luxury handbags in a digital tax dispute, and pursued an isolationist “America” ​​stance. First ”.

Asked whether France expected a Biden presidency to be more reconcilable, Riester told Reuters: “We would surely see an improvement in relations. We would be more aligned on sustainable development issues and perhaps also on multilateral work. “

Biden took a very fine lead over President Donald Trump in the Battlefield State of Georgia early on Friday, closing in on White House victory.

Biden’s camp said during the campaign that it would end Trump’s “artificial trade war” against Europe, while addressing imbalances in agricultural trade with the bloc.

France has imposed a new 3% tax on the income of big tech companies, but has agreed to halt payments this year while international negotiations unfold over how to tax giants like Google and Facebook. In return, Trump agreed to delay a tariff war until the end of 2020.

Riester said it was too early to know whether the threatened tariffs on champagne, French cheese and handbags in retaliation for the new digital tax would be imposed. He said France was engaged in negotiations led by the OECD on a rewrite of cross-border tax rules.

Meanwhile, EU countries were finalizing a list of products the bloc would target with tariffs in a subsidy dispute between aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing. Riester said aerospace, agri-food and manufacturing were the sectors most likely to be affected.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Written by Richard Lough; Edited by Peter Graff

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