No Paris Deal, No Trade, French Foreign Minister Tells U.S.
The French government is prompting the European Union to lay down an ultimatum for any government that wants to forge a trade deal with one of the world’s biggest economic blocs: No Paris agreement, no trade.
The statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, later endorsed by the European Commission, means the United States can’t expect an EU trade deal if Donald Trump follows through on his plan to withdraw his country from the landmark global climate pact.
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“One of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with the EU should implement the Paris Agreement on the ground,” Lemoyne told the French parliament last week. “No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement. The U.S. knows what to expect.”
Climate Home News notes that “talks between the U.S. and EU over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) stalled in 2016 and have failed to revive under the Trump administration, with both sides unwilling to raise it in talks last year.” Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed interest last year in moving past their differences. But “Lemoyne’s statement, were it to represent European policy, would present a further barrier to the talks.”
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom was asked via Twitter whether she agreed with Lemoyne’s position. “Yes Paris deal reference needed in all EU trade agreement today,” she replied.
“Trade is high on Trump’s policy agenda,” Climate Home notes. “But a push to make the Paris deal a prerequisite to open trade with the world’s second-largest economy would be unprecedented and back the global climate change regime with serious economic consequences. It could also discourage other reluctant signatories to the Paris deal who have close ties to Europe, such as Turkey.”