FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends the OECD ministerial council meeting on “Refounding Multilateralism” in Paris, France, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday (May 30) said it was time for the world’s biggest economic powers to start talks on reshaping World Trade Organization rules to prevent current tensions spiraling into trade wars.
Macron’s comments before the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) came as the European Union faced less than 48 hours to win an exemption from U.S. tariffs on European aluminum and steel.
“This is about a complete update of global competition rules,” Macron said, advocating multilateralism at a time when the risk of tit-for-tat trade measures threatens to derail global growth.
The French leader wants the EU, United States, China and Japan to draw up a blueprint for WTO reform in time for the next G-20 meeting in Argentina at the end of the year.
Macron has painted himself as a defender of global co-operation – what he calls “strong multilateralism” – and sought to dissuade leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin from going it alone on issues from diplomacy to trade and the environment.
Trump has effectively engineered a crisis in the WTO’s system of settling global disputes by vetoing all appointments of judges to its appeals chamber. — Reuters