Emmanuel Macron speaks during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. (Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

Macron Says No Trade Deals Without Climate Treaty Compliance

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that trade pacts shouldn’t be signed with countries that don’t respect the 2015 Paris climate treaty, a clear reference to the U.S. which pulled out of the carbon treaty last year.

Macron has in the past called for putting carbon reducing standards in trade pacts, but has never linked entire accords to compliance with the climate treaty.

At a news conference after his speech, Macron said he wouldn’t rule out industry accords with countries like the U.S. that aren’t in the Paris treaty, but that he might opposed sweeping free trade deals.

“There could be accords for individual sectors, such as automobiles and pharmaceuticals, as long as they are neutral on climate,” he said. “But major accords across all sectors that go against climate conventions, that’s not OK.”

The U.S. and the EU began discussing in 2016 a free trade accord but the off-and-on efforts were halted when President Donald Trump took office. Recently, the EU and the U.S. have been discussing some sectoral accords after the U.S. threatened to impose tariffs on European metal and even cars.

‘General Conflict’

France doesn’t actually have any trade accords of its own, because they are negotiated and signed by the European Union on behalf of its members.

During his speech Macron also denounced the rise of nationalism and called the world to work together to solve its challenges in a rebuttal of Trump’s "America first" rhetoric.

“Unilateralism leads directly to isolation and to conflict, to a general conflict of all against all to the detriment of all, even those who think they are the strongest,” Macron said.

Macron said only collective action with the UN’s backing could bring peace to Syria and Libya, and resolve the Israel-Palestine standoff. And he defended the Iran nuclear accord.

“We know that Iran was on the path of seeking nuclear weapons, and what allowed us to stop it?” Macron asked. “The Vienna accord of 2015. Let’s not worsen regional crises.”

At the news conference following his UN address, Macron said that if Trump wanted to promote peace and achieve his stated goal of lowering oil prices, he shouldn’t impose sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

Macron said his one-on-one meeting late Monday with Trump showed “many disagreements, but areas of convergence as well.” He said the U.S. is now more engaged in seeking a political settlement in Syria, that he’s hoping to discuss the Iran nuclear accord with the U.S., and that trade talks between the European Union and the U.S. are advancing. “Case by case, we are convincing them on the utility of cooperation,” he said.

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