News ID: 215996
Published: 0430 GMT May 30, 2018

France calls for deep reforms in WTO

France calls for deep reforms in WTO

The French economy minister has called for deep changes in the structure and functioning of the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying the global body is in need of a profound overhaul.

“This organization is needed and it should be profoundly rethought,” said Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday in a clear reference to the imminent US tariffs on steel and aluminum that may affect many European countries.

Le Maire, who was speaking in a gathering of economists in Paris, said US increasing restrictions on import from other countries have made it necessary to rethink the global trade mechanisms, including those governed by the WTO.

“We share some of the worries expressed, for example, by the United States over the faulty workings of certain multilateral agencies,” said Le Marie while mentioning the WTO, Presstv reported.

The comments came amid increasing tensions between the US and the European Union over trade barriers mostly introduced by Washington. The EU insists it should be permanently exempted from tariffs on steel and aluminum, which the US says is mostly aimed at overproduction in China. However, Washington says the EU should give concessions for a current exemption to become permanent.

The EU has proposed that the issue of overcapacity could be resolved through talks if Washington agrees to permanently exempt the EU from the tariffs.

Trump imposed the tariffs in March on the grounds that American producers crucial to military preparedness were being undermined by cheap imports.

The EU countries have warned that they could also impose their own punitive tariffs on US-made goods. Those tariffs would affect 2.8 billion euros' ($3.4 billion) worth of US exports, while the EU’s metal exports to the United States, which could be affected by new tariffs, are worth 6.4 billion euros.

Resource: presstv
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