• Feb 28, 2009
The European Union made noises last year about having the WTO verify that the U.S. auto industry assistance package doesn't violate any international trade rules. Now French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will ask the World Trade Organization to stick their hands into the matter.

Critics suggest that this could be a diversionary tactic – Sarkozy himself was accused of violating trade rules with his proposed assistance to Renault and PSA Peugeot/Citroen. Or it could be a way to see if both the proposed French and U.S. proposals will pass the WTO test. Either way, Sarkozy and other European heads of state will meet to plan a Europe-wide response to the auto industry situation, as the E.U. continues to mull whether to bring a formal appeal to the WTO regarding the United States' bailout package.

[Source: Automotive News Europe, sub req'd. | Image: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty]


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  • 45 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah it'll jibe as well as that Airbus deal does... How's thumbing your nose at the EU's limit on bacteria in cheese working out for you?

      Face it Sarkozy, you guys ignore the WTO as much as anyone... Go back to crushing your model wife and doing your best to act like your streets aren't lit on fire every 3 months buy your overly entitled youth...
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is just great other nations telling us what to do with our own country lol and further more what to do with our tax money lol....You got to be fu*cking kidding me!...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just about every nation on this earth somehow protects their industries but here in the US if there's a hint of it, others will say that is unacceptable. I could understand it if our auto industries were thriving and we wanted to corner the market like Japan has often done, but that is not the case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        well said
        • 5 Years Ago
        nardvark: "To be fair, we are usually the ones beating the "free trade" drum. Except when it comes to agriculture, then we completely ignore the rules (see sugarcane ethanol)."

        Maybe that has something to do with the fact that we are also the world's #1 supplier of _free_ food aid donations which, from the massiv govt purchasing, heavily skews our markets.*

        From "International Food Aid:
        U.S. and Other Donor Contributions" (2006) http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rs21279.pdf:

        The United States is the major contributor to international food aid, supplying on
        average, since 1995, around 59% of the annual total food aid (see Figure 1) donated by members of the Food Aid Committee of the International Grains Council (IGC) and signatories of the 1999 Food Aid Convention.1 U.S. contributions increased from around 2.8 million metric tons (mmt) measured in wheat equivalent in 1995/1996 to about 5.4 mmt in 2004/2005 (see
        Appendix Table 1).

        Summary: we provide 60% of the world's food aid, more than 2 times the amount of the next closest provider, the EU, at 25%.

        (* yes, there's other social political reasons involved, but our market is heavily skewed by massive govt purchasing)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think making our own captions for this picture would be a more productive use of our time.


      "Here, stick it right here"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Strange: when the government announces giving bailout-money to the auto-industry most people call it a bad idea,but when the frech only ask that this bailout to be in accordance with international trade rules everybody defends the plan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      couldn't agree more with silvermator. everybody is cryig foult to
      everyone, beginning with Boeing years ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      LOL! Topics like this one are clear proof that a typical AutoBlog reader is a heavily retarded American redneck for Alabama of something. I mean the IQ level here is so negative, that you feel the IQ points sucked out of your head as you read te comments! Amazing. You see, folks, "idiots" is the anwer to the question of why France is the first-world country and USA is barely hangind to its fifth-world status.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Of course this is France who subsidizes EAD's Airbus so they can sell planes at a loss to beat the US' Boeing and keep French unions and working on the job even though Airbus will never have to sell planes at a profit. So if he wants stick the US auto makers with a WTO complaint then the US should do the same with Airbus where all real big money and jobs in France is at for the moment.
      Carlos
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn french
      • 5 Years Ago
      Made in America, its the biggest con job of all, and so many flag wavers fall for it, Many so called American cars are made in Canada or Mexico, lots of American built cars carry a foreign name like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz or BMW.
      • 5 Years Ago
      wow eff him
      • 5 Years Ago
      France caps Japanese imports at about 23%. I don't need a lecture from them.
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