GB News panel savages Macron tantrum on Aukus deal
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At a private meeting of EU ambassadors, the French envoy refused to agree to a draft statement for the so-called Trade and Technology Council meeting with the US. The gathering was planned to bolster EU-US relations after four years of transatlantic squabbling with former President Donald Trump. Eurocrats are due to discuss foreign investments, export controls, semiconductor supply chains and artificial with their US counterparts when they meet in Pittsburgh on September 29.
Paris had attempted to postpone the meeting in the wake of the announcement that Australia had signed a new military pact with the UK and US.
The agreement led to Canberra pulling out of a separate contract to buy 12 French-built submarines.
As a result of France’s anger, its senior diplomat sought to water down the scope of the discussions due to take place in the US.
Talks over semiconductors were limited and would only focus on short-term supply chain issues, according to a leaked version of the conclusions.
“This partnership should be balanced and of equal interest to both sides,” the memo, obtained by the Bloomberg news wire, said.
“It will initially focus on short-term supply chain issues.
“Cooperation on mid and long-term strategic semiconductor issues will begin in the relevant TTC working groups ahead of the next TTC meeting.”
Officials said the draft text was being weakened as each new version was worked up by the EU’s 27 member states.
Wrangling is expected to continue between the capitals in the hope of drafting an acceptable statement before the meeting.
The White House has said it looks forward to coordinating with the EU on chip supplies and confronting disruptive trade practices at the TTC meeting.
The EU’s free-trading nations had already been forced to defeat the French opposition to the TTC meeting happening in the first place.
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Even France’s top eurocrat, Thierry Breton, called for a “pause and reset” in transatlantic in the French fury over the AUKUS agreement.
But Paris’s opposition finally ended last Thursday, when the European Commission announced the Pittsburgh talks would go ahead.
EU trade boss Valdis Dombrovskis celebrated the news after sensible European nations argued that ties with the US were too important to sacrifice amid French anger.
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He said: “Strategic alliances are about shaping common approaches and overcoming difficulties.”
Diplomats in Brussels refused to continue supporting Paris after US President Joe Biden apologised for keeping his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron out of the loop over the submarine deal.
“Solidarity works both ways: the EU was behind France. Now France has to get behind the EU,” an EU diplomat told the Politico news website.
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