Putting foreign trade back in the service of employment - Excerpts from the communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting (September 12, 2012)
The Minister of Foreign Trade set out the principles that will guide the policy for restoring France’s international economic situation.
The government’s aim is a return to equilibrium in the balance of trade (excluding energy) within the next five years.
Reducing unemployment and creating jobs depend in particular on French companies’ ability to win markets abroad and stand out from their international competitors. The government will support them, by helping them join forces to organize their offer in the framework of innovation networks and ecosystems, making competitive export financing available to them, putting all the state’s resources for external action at their service, and concentrating on the countries and sectors where the prospects for growth are the strongest.
Companies also need transparent, balanced rules respected by all. This must be the main focus of the trade policy conducted by the European Union. Given the current stalemate in the negotiations under way in the World Trade Organization framework, priority has been given to seeking bilateral trade liberalization agreements.
While the EU cannot remain detached from these initiatives where the future rules of global trade are established, we must ensure they do not create imbalances for our companies. This is why France is setting four conditions for accepting these agreements. They must:
clearly be conducive to job creation in France;
deal with non-tariff barriers that particularly penalize French companies;
involve strict social and environmental requirements;
involve gradual implementation and adequate temporary protection measures for the sensitive sectors of our economy.
France will work actively to ensure her European partners share these strong beliefs.