France Defends Protectionist Automotive Industry Policies

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France made a public claim today that stimulus packages designed to protect domestic industries during a financial crisis was not a foreign trade regulation issue, denying claims that the $8 billion.

European Union allies criticized France for issuing a $7.8 billion state loan to Renault and Peugeot-Citroen in return for a promise that the two companies will not close sites in France – a factor which may be essential to the success of the French economy.

“It is not protectionism. It is defending our industry and defending our jobs. I think it is the least one can expect from the government when faced by this crisis,” said the French European affairs minister, Bruno Le Maire, “all European countries faced by this crisis are introducing the same type of measures to prevent the job situation getting dramatic and to make sure their industries do not weaken too badly.

Le Maire will tour Europe making the speech to critics across the Union, starting with the Czech Republic, who were looking forward to a benefit earned from French car manufacturers moving plants to the Czech Republic. The European Commission exercised caution, but publicly mentioned that they would be investigating the issue from the Czech Republic’s side.

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