Macron Says He Needs to See More Detail on Trump-Juncker Accord
(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron said he will seek clarifications from the European Commission on elements of the trade agreement its leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, thrashed out with U.S. President Donald Trump this week.
“A good trade negotiation, as I have said before, can be only done on balanced and reciprocal basis and under no circumstances under threat,” Macron said during a joint press conference in Madrid with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. “We have some questions that we will want to clarify in the coming days with our European partners.”
Macron’s reservations about the deal sealed Wednesday in Washington reflect concern that the accord may create imbalances among European countries, and Germany in particular. Sanchez matched his French counterpart’s caution.
“The Spanish don’t believe in unilateralism or that a specific economy imposes its policies and criteria in international trade,” said Sanchez.
In return for a pledge by Trump to suspend the threat of an extra tariff on European Union car exports, Juncker reheated proposals to bolster transatlantic economic ties and buy more liquefied natural gas from the U.S. Such a move would ease Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
Macron said that agricultural products should be excluded from talks, citing European standards on food safety and environment that should not be abandoned in talks.
“This is the principle at the heart of the European sovereignty I am calling for,” he said. The deal points to increased imports of U.S. soybeans.
He said that European firms should be given better access to public-sector tenders in the U.S. and called from Trump to make a gesture of goodwill over the “illegal tariffs” he’s imposed on steel and aluminum.
“This must comes ahead of any concrete advances” on trade, he said.
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