Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's more likely that Sarkozy was thinking of big players like the US (which would suggest  a nationalistic independence when it comes to France's economic interests, despite the new pals act with the US recently) and China, cf.:

Brussels decries US protectionism

By Wolfgang Proissl and Fidelius Schmid in Brussels and Daniel Dombey in London

Published: June 20 2006

A rising tide of protectionism could endanger European investment in the US, the president of the European Commission said ahead of a European Union-US summit in Vienna on Wednesday.


Minister warns against US protectionism
(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-14

Commerce Minister Bo Xilai on Monday fired a warning at lawmakers in the US seeking to impose protectionist measures against Chinese goods, calling them "destructive" to "healthy bilateral trade relations".

The moves, he said at a press conference during the annual parliamentary session, "run completely against WTO (World Trade Organization) principles".

Referring to a proposal by some US lawmakers to raise tariffs on Chinese imports by 27.5 percent, he said: "If the Bill goes ahead, it could damage the currently sound Sino-US trade and will be disastrous to both Chinese and American businesses, which have benefited from each other.

"If this policy is adopted, it is not only protectionism, but also trade hegemonism."

Last month, the US announced a trade deficit of $232.5 billion with China last year - its largest imbalance ever recorded with a single trading partner.

Washington has since increased pressure on Beijing to let the yuan rise faster, saying that its current currency regime makes Chinese goods more affordable than those from elsewhere.

The US had also lodged a complaint against China at the WTO last month, alleging that the world's fourth-largest economy unfairly subsidises industries such as steel, wood products and information technology, making these already competitively priced goods cheaper still.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 11:29:56 AM EST

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