Trade

Macron ends China visit with slew of trade deals and green pact

BEIJING — Emmanuel Macron scored points for France, Europe and the global environment at the end of his state visit to China, while having a dig at Donald Trump and stealing the thunder of the European commissioner he brought with him.

French foie gras, Franco-Italian small aircraft, French utility company Engie and European luxury foods were among those he advocated for, in addition to the worlds climate and biodiversity, in a series of contracts and agreements signed on Wednesday in Beijing.

Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the “Beijing Call for the conservation of biodiversity and climate change,” which formalized the joint leadership role theyve taken in support of the Paris Agreement and further elevated the importance of preserving biodiversity.

The French president also took the opportunity to undercut the American position on the issue. “When China, the European Union and Russia commit to [the Paris Agreement], the isolated choice of this or that [country] isnt enough to change the course of things,” Macron said in a statement to the press alongside Xi in Beijing at the end of their meeting.

It was Macrons first comments on the matter since the U.S. formally started the withdrawal process from the climate change pact on Tuesday, two years after the Trump administration announced it would pull out of the deal. The U.S. will be the only country in the world that wont be a party to the Paris pact, which calls on nations to set individual targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Paris and Beijing agreed on a deal that could see French foie gras allowed back into China.

The incoming EU commissioner for trade, Phil Hogan, was also present in Beijing on Wednesday to sign the EU-China agreement on Geographic Indications — intellectual property protections for gourmet foods. But Macron appeared to jump the gun on Hogan, by hailing the deal two days ahead of the Commissions official announcement Wednesday.

Hogan, as well as the German Minister for Education and Research Anja Karliczek, also accompanied Macron on his visit to Shanghai for the second edition of the China International Import Expo earlier in the week.

Xi and Macron spoke multiple times about the need to reform the WTO rules, but made no concrete announcements on the issue on Wednesday.

“Our capacity to define together, before the summer, the reform of the WTO is absolutely vital,” said Macron, “I want us to have a European proposal, when we have that well see what China agrees with or not, and what the U.S. agrees with or not. So the first part of 2020 should be dedicated to European effort to propose and then a negotiation with others.”

Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping | Pool photo by Florence Lo via Getty Images

Furthermore, Paris and Beijing agreed on a deal that could see French foie gras allowed back into China, after it was banned in 2015 as a result of an outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza.

The agreement extends a deal struck between China and France in March this year, which defined the sanitary conditions to enable French chicken meat exports to return to China. Wednesdays deal will alloRead More – Source

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