France has lifted it’s objection to trade talks between the European Union and the United States, clearing the way for the world’s most ambitious free trade agreement.
Committed to defending its arts sector, France had been refusing to get on board unless cultural industries – such as television, movies and online entertainment – were excluded.
Meeting in Luxembourg, EU officials announced that the French demand had been met.
French Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said:“I’m not talking about victory, because I don’t want to. In negotiations we’re not alone. I’m all about European solidarity. The only thing regret is that, sometimes, I’ve been under the impression that some parties were negotiating directly with the United States.”
With the French road block out of the way, European leaders are expected to launch talks with US President Barack Obama at the G8 Summit on June 17-18 in Northern Ireland.