04:36 GMT +323 February 2019
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    French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire gives a press conference at Bercy Economy ministry in Paris (File)

    French, German Finance Ministers Insist on 'Firm Response' to New US Tariffs

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - French and German finance ministers believe that Europe needs a firm response to the latest US import tariffs, French Minister for the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said.

    "We used this meeting to talk international commerce, and to repeat that we are favorable to the free exchange based on the rules of reciprocity, that we do not believe in protectionism, and that we need to come up with a firm, common European response to the recent decision made by our American partners and allies," French Minister for the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz.

    READ MORE: Art of the Deal: Trump Pledges to Cancel Tariffs if EU Drops Duties on US Goods

    US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose a 25-percent import tax on steel and 10-percent duties on aluminum imports. The decree will become effective March 23.

    Trump's step was sharply criticized by Washington's major trade partners, particularly Canada, China and the European Union, which accused Trump of excessive protectionism and pledged to impose countermeasures.


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