US

Why submarine sale row shows France must re-think its role in the world

International — Opinion

After a phone conversation on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron appeared to have at least partly defused tensions over the new military pact between Australia, the UK and the US which entailed the cancellation of Australia’s purchase of 12 French submarines worth 56 billion euros. In this op-ed article, Mediapart’s international affairs specialist François Bougon argues that the diplomatic crisis of recent days should prompt a re-think of France’s global role and an end to the notion of its grandeur and exceptionalism, a heritage handed down from Charles de Gaulle.

France cancels defence meeting with UK over Australia subs dispute

International — Link

Paris has called off a meeting due in London this week between France's armed forces minister and her British counterpart amid a heightening row  over Australia’s decision to abandon a deal to buy 12 French diesel-electric submarines in favour of a pact with the US and UK.

French court throws out case against US firms behind Agent Orange

France — Link

A legal case brought by a 79-year-old French-Vietnamese woman against US firms that manufactured the highly toxic herbicidal cocktail known as Agent Orange, massively employed by US forces during the Vietnam War, causing deaths, diseases and malformations of those exposed to the chemical, has been dismissed by a French court on the grounds that the companies were acting 'on the orders' of the US government, which was engaged in a 'sovereign act'.  

France stays firm in face of US over plans to tax digital giants

International — Link

French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire said plans to introduce a national tax on digital tech firms, including Google, Facebook and Amazon 'will be unchanged' unless an international agreement on the subject is reached by the end of 2020, despite US threats of slapping retaliatory tariffs on French products like wine, cheese and luxury goods.

Racism is suffocating us

International — Opinion

This week has been marked by numerous demonstrations, both in the US and across the globe, in protest at police violence following the killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Afro-American who was suffocated to death by an officer in Minneapolis. In this op-ed article, Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues why, when the police is gangrened by racism, it is because the powers in place, a ruling class and its elites, hold a silent hate of democracy, the people and equality – and that this applies as much to France as it does to the United States.

Sanofi vaccine row: a patent betrayal of the common good

International — Opinion

The chief executive of French pharma giant Sanofi sparked outrage this week when he declared that the US would be first in line for a vaccine his group was developing against the Covid-19 virus. In this op-ed article, Martine Orange argues the move by Sanofi reveals the immoral reality of the pharma business which, instead of serving the common good, has embarked on a profit-seeking commercial war over the coronavirus.

Why social solidarity is a defence against the virus epidemic

International — Opinion

The Covid-19 coronavirus is now spreading in the US, where if you have wealth or a salary, and enough space at home, you might be able to pull off the absurd trick of isolating yourself for a few months, writes Columbia Law School professor and essayist Jedediah Britton-Purdy, but for half the population with no savings, living paycheck to paycheck, which has to hustle every day to find work, this is simply impossible.

France, US agree truce over digital tax dispute

International — Link

The dispute which began last year with France's planned levy of up to three percent on revenues earned by US tech companies in France, and which Washington  threatened to retaliate against with higher tariffs on imports of French goods, de-escalated this week with both sides agreeing on negotiations that may continue throughoiut the year.

Airbus shares fall as US-EU edge towards tit-for-tat tariffs war

International — Link

The US is targeting tariffs at European aircraft and aerospace parts, as well a range of industries including food, wine, tractors and luxury goods,   in the first stage of a two-way battle with the European Union over subsidies received by aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.

France to seek US agreement on tech firm tax ahead of G7 meeting

International — Link

France's economy minister said his government would 'work closely with our American friends on a universal tax on digital activities' ahead of a G7 summit in Biarritz in late August, adding that French President Emmanuel Macron had held a lengthy conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump after the latter had slammed Macron's 'foolishness' over the tax and threatened retaliatory tariffs on French wine imports.

France seeks EU aide for firms facing US sanctions over Iran deals

France — Link

France's economy minister Bruno Le Maire has said he hoped the European Union would step in to compensate companies from among its member states who are targeted by sanctions which US president Donald Trump intends to introduce against firms doing business with Iran.

France slams US moves to sanction firms trading with Iran

International — Link

The French government has reacted angrily to US President Donald Trump's decision, after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, to re-impose sanctions on companies that do business with Tehran and which include Airbus, French carmakers Renault and PSA, and oil giant Total.

France insists Iran accord 'not dead'

International — Link

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that despite US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement with Iran limiting its nuclear development programme in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions France would stick to the deal, while economy minister Bruno Le Maire said the US must not consider itself as the world’s 'economic policeman'.

US, France and UK launch strikes on Syrian 'chemical plant' sites

International — Link

France has joined the US and Britain in attacks overnight Friday against sites in Syria identified as production plants for chemical weapons, in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma last week.

France lures US climate scientists with anti-Trump relocation grants

France — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron is to announce on Monday evening the names of winners of so-called 'Make Our Planet Great Again' grants offered to US-based climate scientists to relocate to France to work on projects of three to five years, and which were created to counter US President Donald Trump's pullout from the 2015 UN-led global accord in Paris on measures to reduce climate change.