"Clear Differences Remain Between France and the U.S, French Minister Says," is the headline to a remarkable piece appearing in the New York Times today. The Minister, Bruno Le Maire, is brutally frank on the nature of the differences as the quotations below Illustrate. (Emphases in the quotations are jvw’s.) In fact, they amount to a Declaration of Independence of France and EU from the US.
It is not surprising that the differences relate to China after the brouhaha over the sale of US nuclear submarines to Australia and the surprising (to the French) cancellation of contracts with France for submarines. Mr. LeMaire, sounding very much like a reproving parent, characterized this as "misbehavior from the US administration."
Mr. LeMaire made it crystal clear that the disagreement over submarines is symptomatic of deeper differences in world view that have emerged not only in France but in the EU as a consequence of China’s rise. The article states:
"‘The United States wants to confront China. The European Union wants to engage China,’ Mr. Le Maire, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron of France, said in a wide-ranging interview ahead of the (IMF) meetings. This was natural, he added, because the United States is the world’s leading power and does not ‘want China to become in a few years or in a few decades the first superpower in the world.
"Europe’s strategic priority, by contrast, is independence, ‘which means to be able to build more capacities on defense, to defend its own view on the fight against climate change, to defend its own economic interest, to have access to key technologies and not be too dependent on American technologies,’ he said."
The article continued, quoting the Finance Minister:
"The key question now for the European Union, he said, is to become ‘independent from the United States, able to defend its own interests, whether economic or strategic interests.’"
LeMaire might have pre-ambled that statement with: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Still, seasoned diplomat that Mr. LeMaire is, he provided some cold comfort to the naughty US administration, saying, the United States remains "our closest partner" in terms of values, economic model, respect for the rule of law, and embrace of freedom. But with China, he said, "we do not share the same values or economic model."
The article continued:
"Asked if differences over China meant inevitable divergence between the United States and Europe, Mr. Le Maire said, ‘It could be if we are not cautious.’ But every effort should be made to avoid this, which means ‘recognizing Europe as one of the three superpowers in the world for the 21st century,’ alongside the United States and China."
The piece concluded;
"One of the biggest lingering points of contention is over metal tariffs that former President Donald J. Trump imposed globally in 2018. Officials face difficult negotiations in coming weeks. Europeans plan to impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of US products as of Dec. 1, unless Mr. Biden pulls back a 25 percent duty on European steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminum.
"‘If we want to improve the bilateral economic relationship between the continents, the first step must be for the United States to lift the sanctions in the steel and aluminum case,’ Mr. Le Maire said. ‘We are fed up with the trade wars,’ he added."
Shared values are nice, but shared profits are clearly better.
John V. Walsh, until recently a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and now residing in the Bay Area, has written on issues of peace and health care for Asia Times, EastBayTimes/Mercury News, Antiwar.com, CounterPunch, and others.
48 thoughts on “French Finance Minister Issues Declaration of Independence – From the US”
I’ll believe this once France quits the US Foreign Legion (NATO)
Nevertheless, it is a good sign, …does portend the disintegration of NATO in the sense that there has to be a significant elite power faction pushing it that they would go public like this.
De Gaulle did it in the 1960s and Sarkozy (certainly NO de Gaulle!!!) returned, without anyone here in France being asked. A terrible decision.
I agree. Leaving the EU could be considered an opportune policy.
Rather than produce nuclear submarines, it appears President Macron has seen the Energy Cliff light and is intent on producing small modular reactors for France’s power needs.
I suggest France develop a Strategic Uranium Reserve if none presently exists.
Having gold reserves is wise, but in time, I doubt it will compare with significant physical uranium holdings.
‘recognizing Europe as one of the three superpowers in the world for the 21st century,’ alongside the United States and China?
Europe can only be a “superpower” if Russia is included in its lineup, but Moscow will NEVER submit to the influence of Brussels and will jealously guard their independence and sovereignty. Why would they ever allow the feckless trash in the European Commission to have any power over their nation?? Don’t get me started on the even more corrupt EHCR
In France this economics minister is blaming Russia for the gas debacle which is really caused by the bureaucracy of the European commission, the delay in Nordstream 2 as the USA sanctions stopped every step, and the political hatred of Russia by some countries, which refuse to see the commercial value of Russian piped gas.
EU is not a superpower.
The EU is a group of countries all with a different agenda the majority tolarate Brussells for the hand outs which is why they joined the EU , Hungery who were going to do this that and the other until Brussells threatened to cut off the handouts , didn`t take them long to change their minds.
We have made so many mistakes with France its hard to pick out just one example. We have never fully recovered from mistakes made in World War 2, and it doesn’t help that Americans know next to nothing about them. First De Gaulle was not invited to the Yalta Talks because Stalin didn’t want to feel out numbered (he already owned FDR and Truman). In the book:
Beyond the Beach
The Allied War Against France
By Stephen Alan Bourque
An important rethinking of the Normandy war narrative
It is outlined that Eisenhower did a practice bombing campaign on France without warning, bombing towns no Germans were in. This is the only book ever written on the subject in the West. 60,000 were killed and over 100,000 maimed. Although we were shown carefully selected footage of our triumphant marches into captured towns and cities, growing up I heard stories from vets who told me they were hissed at as they marched in. They despised the French government because of this, but none of us knew the truth about the bombing campaign. Or that the exiled chairman of the Republic was slighted at Yalta.
This was only the beginning and our relations have been strained ever since. We have never admitted any of this, we are reaping what FDR, Truman and Eisenhower (a FDR appointee) have sewn.
Eisenhower was appointed at the behest of Churchil who said it was only fair as the US was supplying the majoritiy of troops and weapons , it`s all in Churchills book , churchill 1941 / 45 .
Churchill might have but FDR appointed him. Eisenhower and Churchill barely got along: https://www.history.com/news/eisenhower-churchill-d-day-wwii
So you believe Churchill?
I suspect that this is a threat intended to make the United States pretend to pay more attention to French interests going forward, not a real declaration of independence.
As long as NATO exists the EU will remain the lap dog of the US , the EU Elite do nothing as regards foreign policy without the permission of the US , anyone who dosen`t toe the US line will be sanctioned , NS2 , China , Russia ect ect ect
The real topic is not “differences.” France has always been run over by the US freight train about any differences.
The real topic is that France is pushing an independent role for the EU, outside US control done via NATO. This has been building for awhile, as in the “brain dead NATO” comments from France.
France means to control the EU and so leverage the whole EU into French world influence. This may be a bit unrealistic, disregarding the German ability to control it all. However, that is a separate question, next for France after setting up the EU as independent of the US.
Trump’s actions played into this longstanding French desire. Biden’s actions have furthered it, when France must have feared a new lack of differences they could use to promote their desired outcome.
That the US is oblivious to what is happening is unsurprising. DC sees only what it wants to see.
The EU should only include the Benelux countries, France, Netherlands and Germany. The Pancake alliance and that’s it.
BRAVO France ! If only the rest of Europe too would give the finger to the World’s most active Meddler and War Monger, the USA !!
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