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Macron: ‘economic nationalism leads to war’

Emmanuel Macron is calling the U.S. decision to levy tariffs on the European Union “illegal” and a “mistake”

Back in March, US President Donald J. Trump decided to levy tariffs on those of its trade partners who were ‘treating us unfairly’. Those tariffs included a 10% tariff on imported aluminum and 25% on steel imports, perceiving those of the entire globe.

But some countries, including the EU, Canada, Mexico, and others, managed to secure a brief exception to those measures, as well as harsh rhetoric from Trump about the EU’s nature being that of ripping America off, which was extended for May.

However, those exemptions have now run out, and so far Washington has not renewed or extended them.

French President Emmanuel Macron slammed Trump’s tariffs measures, vowed to discuss the matter with his US counterpart, as well as taking it up with the WTO.

TIME reports:

(WASHINGTON) — French President Emmanuel Macron is calling the U.S. decision to levy tariffs on the European Union “illegal” and a “mistake.”

Macron said that he deplores the U.S. action and that he plans to speak with U.S. President Donald Trump later Thursday telling him just that.

The French president said the tariff move does not in line with international trade law that the United States, France and Europe have subscribed to. He stressed that there would be a European response.

Macron, who was the first foreign leader invited by Trump to a state visit, said the U.S. president’s decision is a mistake because it creates economic and commercial nationalism.

He ominously recalled the pre-World War II period saying, “Economic nationalism leads to war. This is exactly what happened in the 1930s.”

The head of the World Trade Organization is expressing “very real concern” about rising trade tensions and the risk of escalation.

The comments from Director-General Roberto Azevedo come in the wake of U.S. trade penalties on imported steel and aluminum.

But he says the global trading system “was built to resolve these problems in a way that prevents further escalation.”

The European Union says it plans to bring its case against new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum to the World Trade Organization on Friday.

If that happens, the 28-nation EU would join China and India in triggering the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism over the American trade penalties.

Turning to the WTO would give the EU a second response to the tariffs. It’s already prepared $1.6 billion in retaliation against U.S. goods including steel, orange juice, motorcycles and bourbon whiskey.

WTO proceedings could open the door to further penalties and increase pressure on Washington, though the process traditionally takes many months — and in some cases, years.

Trump’s supporters see the tariffs as a means of negotiating a ‘better deal’ with the rest of the world. But that’s not how it’s being perceived outside of the US. Members of the 28 nation bloc, the EU, are in an uproar about the matter, threatening retaliatory measures and a dispute with the WTO in order to pressure Washington into abandoning its approach towards its allies and partners on trade.

But it doesn’t seem that they understand just what they’re dealing with. No matter how much pressure you apply to a narcissist, the outcome is not amended behaviour, because they perceive themselves as the victim, and the pressure giver to be villain in the situation.

As far as they see it, they’re the ones being wronged. In this case, Trump is not as likely to be persuaded to alter his course because he won’t consider that his actions prompted a response in the form of that which we will find ourselves on the receiving end of for the foreseeable future, or until some change in trade policy is made.


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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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