Containers
12 April 2019

France opposes EU trade agreement with the US

On 11 April 2019, a debate was held in Brussels on the opening of trade negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States. As France opposes any trade negotiations with countries outside the Paris Agreement on the Climate, it will therefore be voting against this trade mandate.
 
In line with the commitment made by the President of the Republic, France is opposed to starting any trade negotiations with countries outside the Paris Agreement on the Climate.

It is a question of fairness in our trade relations (environmental standards cannot apply to some and not to others), and a question of values: Europe must set an example and stand firm in its defence of the climate.

France has therefore indicated that it is voting against this trade mandate. It is not however alone on this issue, but it must make its loud voice heard in a moment of truth, as it is the long-term European project that is at stake.

Thanks to its engagement with its European partners over the past few weeks, it has made significant progress, including ending the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or "TTIP" mandate (which had never been approved), excluding agriculture from any talks with the United States (as the European Commission has committed to do) and taking account of the environmental impact of products in establishing customs duties.

However, given the United States’ position on the Paris Agreement, a key factor against climate change, and the trade pressure exerted in recent weeks by the United States, this is not good enough and France cannot therefore support such trade negotiations.

This work must continue, especially in the European Parliament, without which no trade agreement can be approved at the conclusion of the negotiations. This will be a major issue in the next few months and will influence choices made at the European elections.

France will continue to uphold its climate commitments by making concrete proposals before and after the European elections, following on from the announcements made by the President of the Republic in his open letter to Europeans in which he calls for a European Renaissance, including such measures as the European Climate Bank, the drastic reduction of pesticides and carbon neutrality by 2050.