Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called for a moratorium on trade relations between the United States and the European Union following an increase in customs duties, decided by the Trump administration.

He also calls for a resumption of exchanges on Iranian nuclear power.

"The issue that poisons everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology, Airbus and more particularly our wine sector," said Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview with the Journal du Sunday.

The French Minister of Foreign Affairs suggested this Sunday a "moratorium" on the commercial standoff between the United States and the European Union.

He also calls on the United States to return to the Vienna agreement on Iranian nuclear power.


Trade: why the United States maintains its sanctions on European products

More restrictive customs duties

"If we could quickly find a method that would allow this dispute with Europe and France to be settled, that would be a step forward," said the minister.

"It may take a long time, but in the meantime we can always order moratoria."

The new Washington customs duties, announced at the end of the year, target French and German products: + 25% on non-sparkling wines, grape must and cognacs, and + 15% on certain aeronautical parts.


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The specter of the tax on "Gafa"

These tariffs come into effect a few days before the end of Donald Trump's tenure, during which the United States' trade relations with the EU have seriously deteriorated.

These taxes are in addition to those imposed since 2019 on European products (wine, cheese, olive oil, whiskey) and on Airbus planes.

Another conflict, that of the French tax on digital giants, has left the threat of 100% customs duties on certain French products, such as cheeses, beauty products or handbags, for more than a year.

France confirmed in November that it would levy its tax on "Gafa" (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) in 2020, exposing itself to Washington implementing its threat, which concerns 1.3 billion people. dollars of French products.

"Iran is in the process of building nuclear capacity"

On another aspect, the Minister of Foreign Affairs once again calls on the United States to reverse a decision by President Trump.

Iran is in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons and "it is urgent to say that this is enough", said the French foreign minister, pleading for a return to the Vienna agreement that Donald Trump had abruptly left .

"Iran - I say it clearly - is in the process of acquiring nuclear capacity," said Drian.

"There is also a presidential election in Iran in mid-June. It is therefore urgent to tell the Iranians that this is enough and to arrange for Iran and the United States to return to the Vienna Agreement." .

This agreement provides for a partial lifting of international sanctions against Iran, in exchange for measures intended to ensure that this country does not acquire atomic weapons.

But Donald Trump unilaterally walked out of it in 2018. “In coming out of this deal, the Trump administration chose the strategy that he called maximum pressure against Iran. The result is that this strategy does not. has only reinforced the risk and threat. We must therefore stop this mechanism, "said the head of French diplomacy.


 Iran has started the process to enrich uranium to 20%

"This will not be enough," he added, however.

"It will take difficult discussions on ballistic proliferation and Iran's destabilization of its neighbors in the region. I am kept a secret on the timing of this kind of file, but it is urgent."

Iran had indicated Wednesday to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to advance in its production of uranium metal to be used as fuel for a reactor.

The subject is sensitive because uranium metal can be used as a component for nuclear weapons and the 2015 agreement includes a 15-year ban on "the production or acquisition of plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys" .