World Trade Organisation Director-General Pascal Lamy has hit back at EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso’s claim that France was being protectionist and “extremely reactionary”.
“I think it is a big political mistake, it is a serious misunderstanding. The European Union Treaty recognises cultural diversity as a possible obstacle to market opening, because the view is that culture products are not just like socks,” said Lamy.
Barroso slammed France for its insistence that audio-visual services be excluded from the trade agreement.
France is worried about the impact on their film and music industry if it were to be exposed to the US market.
“They are culturally extremely reactionary,” Barroso said.
Negotiations are continuing for what has been called “the biggest bilateral trade deal in history”.