FILE PHOTO: Containers are being stacked at the Port Botany facility in Sydney, Australia, on February 6, 2018. Photo taken on February 6, 2018. Reuters / DanielMunoz
September 20, 2021
Canberra (Reuters) – Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Monday he would hold talks with French counterparts to de-escalate tensions over Canberra’s decision to abandon the $40 billion submarine deal.
Australia ended its contract with the French Naval Group last week to build a fleet of regular submarines, and instead at least used US and British technology to enter into a tripartite security partnership with the two countries. Announced to build eight nuclear submarines.
France was furious and said that relations with Australia and the United States were at stake. Recalling the ambassadors of the two countries, he expressed concern that Australia would bid on a free trade agreement with Europe.
Prime Minister Tehan is confident the line will not stretch and affect trade, but called for a meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris in October with French respondents. added.
“When I’m in France, I’m very much looking forward to touching French opponents and bass,” Tehan told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
Australian and EU officials will negotiate the next round of trade agreements on 12 October.
Bilateral tensions between Australia and France escalated when Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Washington later this week for a meeting of the countries of the Quad Group, including India, Japan, the United States and Australia.
France was the biggest critic of Australia’s defense deal, but China is seen as the catalyst for Australia’s decision to build a new submarine fleet, and has also blamed the tripartite agreement.
Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated over the past two years after Australia banned Chinese tech giant Huawei from joining early 5G broadband networks and called for an investigation into the origins of the new coronavirus.
China responded by blocking imports of Australian goods and suspended all ministerial communications.
But Mr Tehan said China must work with Australia if it wants to participate in a comprehensive and progressive agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade zone.
(Reporting by Colin Packham, edited by Robert Birsel and Sam Holmes)
Australia’s trade calls for a French meeting, and a row of submarines will not upset EU talks with confidence
source link Australia’s trade calls for a French meeting, and a row of submarines will not upset EU talks with confidence