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'Made in France' plea is rejected

European trade commissioner says French cannot "redraw world trade map by themselves"

A MINISTER'S call for people to buy "Made in France " products has been criticised by European trade commissioner Karel de Gucht, who said France could not "redraw the world trade map all by itself".

Speaking after Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Monteboug posed in a Breton pullover and called for buyers to be more "patriotic", de Gught said that such "protectionism" was a choice that didn't hold true.

Speaking to Le Figaro, he said France had "without doubt" the greatest number of European companies in the top 500 global companies "yet these companies do better overseas than they do in France. So I ask myself: How do you reindustrialise France with a 35-hour week and without doing anything about high employment costs?"

De Gught also refused to get involved in a call by Montebourg to put South Korean vehicle imports "under surveillance" saying that there was no basis for his demand. He added: "Indeed, figures show that the free trade agreement signed with Seoul in 2011 is largely in favour of the European Union."

Montebourg had posed on the front cover of Le Parisien magazine in a Breton Armor Lux marinière, wearing a Michel Herbelin watch and holding a Moulinex blender and called on shoppers to go for French products and be patriotic about keeping jobs in France.

He said: "There is a patriot in all of us. When you’re a consumer, you’re also an employee, a parent, a neighbour, a friend directly or indirectly touched by unemployment and company closures.
Le Parisien magazine - photographer Philippe Garcia

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