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WTO should be ‘rethought’: France

AFP / Share:
French Minister for the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire. reuters

PARIS (AFP) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called yesterday for an overhaul of the World Trade Organization, just two days before European companies may be hit with steep US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

“We share some of the worries expressed, for example, by the United States over the faulty workings of certain multilateral agencies,” including the WTO, Le Marie said at a gathering of OECD officials in Paris.

“This organisation is needed and it should be profoundly rethought,” he said.

The European Union has been lobbying hard to remain exempted from the punitive US tariffs, announced by President Donald Trump in early March.

But officials have indicated they see little chance that Mr Trump will continue exempting EU companies from the duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminium.

The exemptions run out on Friday.

The WTO has warned that the protectionist threat from the US could hamper global growth.

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