France’s Le Maire says no U.S. trade talks with metals tariffs in place

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday the European Union could not consider negotiating a free trade agreement with the United States without Washington first withdrawing its tariffs on steel and aluminum.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire shake hands at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Speaking to reporters at the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Buenos Aires, Le Maire said there was no disagreement between France and Germany over how and when to start trade talks with the United States. Both agreed Washington needs to take the first step by eliminating tariffs, he said.

Reporting by Luc Cohen, writing by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish