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Europe to be united, strong if US raises more tariffs: France

PARIS: The United States can expect a strong and united response from Europe to any further tariff increases, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday, warning a trade war was already underway.

“If tomorrow there is an increase in tariffs, like in the car industry, including on cars, our reaction should be united and strong to show that Europe is a united and sovereign power,” Le Maire said.

“The question is no longer whether or not there will be a trade war, the war has already started,” he added, speaking at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence, in southern France.

Read More: China eyes eastern Europe investment as US trade war sizzles

On the flip side, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met leaders from central and eastern Europe in Bulgaria on Saturday to discuss investment opportunities.

Road and rail projects funded by China will be high on the agenda at the summit, which has raised concerns in Brussels and richer Western European countries about growing Chinese influence in the region.

At the seventh annual gathering of the so-called “16+1 cooperation”, Li will meet leaders and firms from 11 EU member states and five Balkan nations hoping to join the bloc.

Their talks will focus on joint ventures in industry and the high-tech sector as well as infrastructure, agriculture and tourism, the Bulgarian hosts said in a statement.

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