May 3, 2018 / 6:23 AM / in a year

France demands total EU exemption from U.S. tariffs

Cranes move shipping containers stacked along the dockside at the Seayard Co. terminal, operated by the Marseille-Fos port authority in Fos sur Mer, France, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s finance minister said on Thursday that nothing short of an outright European Union exemption from U.S. steel tariffs would be acceptable and that there would be no talks with Washington if it was not granted.

U.S. President Donald Trump has granted an exemption for the European Union until June 1, although EU officials have said it is not clear what Washington wants.

Everybody would lose out in a trade war, France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, told France 2 public TV station.

“We must stand firm and united versus the United States and convey one and the same message - that there must be a total, permanent exemption short of which there will be no talks,” he said.

Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Ingrid Melander

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