France Calls on Biden to Ease ‘Poisonous’ Trade Tensions With EU

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is calling for a moratorium on trade tariffs between the European Union and the U.S. to allow time for the “poisonous” issue to be resolved with the incoming Biden administration.

U.S. levies on goods such as steel, airplanes and wine are harming relations with the EU and the dispute needs to be resolved quickly, the minister said in an interview published Sunday in the Journal du Dimanche.

The comments on trade, a longstanding battleground between the EU and U.S. President Donald Trump, were among a list of areas mapped out by Le Drian as needing urgent attention. Transatlantic relations with the outgoing administration were “random, uncertain, at-times conflict ridden and disorganized,” he was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

Following are some of the main points raised by the French minister:

  • Iran is building nuclear arms capacity and this must be stopped, Le Drian said, calling for Washington to quickly return to the 2015 atomic agreement
  • There may no longer be any tool to regulate atomic weapons between Russia and the U.S. when the “New Start” arms reduction treaty expires in the coming weeks
  • The U.S. and China must make known their goals to fight climate change for the next round of global talks
  • Le Drian called on the Biden administration to bring the U.S. back to the World Health Organization so it can use diplomatic weight to counter China

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