March 23, 2018 / 3:18 PM / 10 months ago

Macron tells U.S. that Europe will not talk trade with gun to head

France's President Emmanuel Macron attends a news conference at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe will not negotiate trade deals with a gun to the head, French leader Emmanuel Macron said on Friday, reacting to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to grant the European Union a 40-day exemption on metal tariffs pending further talks.

“We will talk about anything as a principal with a friendly country that respects the rules of the World Trade Organization. We won’t talk at all with a country if it is with a gun to our heads,” Macron told a news conference after a meeting of EU leaders.

Macron said the EU held no desire to engage in a trade war with the United States and said the bloc must be “united and determined” in its response.

“Europe cannot be the ... weakest link,” Macron said.

Reporting by Richard Lough; editing by Foo Yun Chee

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