The truce between the European Union and President Trump over trade wars has generated anger in Paris today amid fears that it would leave France open to an invasion of unhealthy American food and hurt its farming industry.
While German ministers welcomed the announcement that Brussels and Washington had pulled back from the brink of a trade war, their French counterparts responded with scepticism.
Bruno Le Maire, the French economy minister, demanded “clarifications” from Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission president, over the deal he secured at a meeting with Mr Trump in the White House yesterday.
He said: “France had always said we need to avoid a trade war. (But) a good discussion can only take place on a clear basis and cannot be conducted under pressure.”
The US and the EU both shelved threats to impose heightened tariffs on each other after agreeing to open wide-ranging trade talks. The row began when Mr Trump imposed steep tariffs on European steel and aluminium imports and described the EU trading bloc as a foe. The EU responded with levies on €2.8 billion of US exports, prompting Mr Trump to threaten a 25 per cent tariff on European cars.