France looks at WTO revamp if Trump exempts EU from tariffs

International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde, left, listens as French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks during the "No money for terror" conference at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris Thursday, April 26, 2018. Ministers from more than 70 countries are working on ways to combat financing for the Islamic State group and Al-Qaida at an international conference in Paris, which still bears scars of deadly terrorist attacks in recent years. (Eric Fefergerg, Pool via AP)

SOFIA, Bulgaria — France says it is willing to have talks on revamping the World Trade Organization and the global trading system if U.S. President Donald Trump permanently exempts the European Union from punitive steel and aluminum tariffs.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said ahead of a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers that the 28-nation bloc should not become "collateral damage of a possible trade war between the U.S. and China" if Trump ends an EU tariff exemption by May 1.

Even though the EU has insisted the exemption should have no strings attached, Le Maire said that "we are ready to open discussion with our American friends on the future of the WTO, adding that "first of all, we have to get rid of that question of new tariffs."

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