EU to respond ‘as one’ on US tariff threat against France

French Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday that Paris would ensure a ‘strong’ response in the event of US tariffs as an internet-inspired tax and trade conflict heated up. (AFP)
Updated 04 December 2019

EU to respond ‘as one’ on US tariff threat against France

  • French Finance minister Bruno Le Maire warned Washington that the European Union could generate a robust reply

PARIS/BRUSSELS: The European Union will answer tariff threats by the United States against France “as one” and urged Washington toward dialogue, an EU spokesman said on Tuesday.

“As in all other trade-related matters, the EU will act and react as one and it will remain united,” said EU commission spokesman Daniel Rosario after the US threatened tariffs on French goods on Monday.

The threat was in response to a French digital services tax that Washington says is discriminatory as it singles out US tech giants such as Google and Facebook.

French Finance minister Bruno Le Maire earlier said Tuesday that Paris would ensure a “strong” response in the event of US tariffs as an Internet-inspired tax and trade conflict heated up.
Le Maire told Radio Classique that threatened US tariffs on French goods such as sparkling wine, yogurt and Roquefort cheese were “inacceptable” and warned Washington that the European Union could generate a robust reply.
“We were in contact yesterday with the European Union to ensure that if there are new American tariffs, there will be a European response, a strong response,” Le Maire said.


S&P downgrades trio of Dubai developers as pandemic hits property and retail

Updated 53 min 25 sec ago

S&P downgrades trio of Dubai developers as pandemic hits property and retail

  • Gulf states are being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic that has come at a time of weak oil prices

RIYADH: The credit ratings of three Dubai property companies were downgraded by S&P as the coronavirus pandemic hits confidence in the retail and real estate sectors.
S&P Global Ratings reduced the credit ratings for the real estate developer Emaar Properties as well as Emaar Malls to +BB from -BBB with a negative forward outlook, adding that it sees a “weakening across all its business segments” in 2020. S&P also cut its rating for DIFC Investments to +BB from -BBB, while keeping a stable outlook.
Gulf states are being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic that has come at a time of weak oil prices, heaping pressure on governments, companies and employees.
The ratings agency expects the emirate’s economy to shrink by 11 percent this year
“The supply-demand imbalance in the realty sector appears to have been exacerbated by the pandemic. We now expect to see international demand for Dubai’s property to be subdued, and the fall in residential prices to be steeper than we had expected, lingering well into 2021” S&P reported.
Despite easing restrictions and the opening of the economy, S&P said that overall macroeconomic conditions remained challenging.
Global travel restrictions and social distancing constraints “significantly weigh on Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors” the rating agency reported.
Still, Dubai’s tourism chief was upbeat on the emirate’s prospects when international tourism resumes.
“Once we do get to the other side, as we start to talk about next year and later on, we see very much a quick uptick. Because once things normalize, people will go back to travel again,” Helal Al-Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing told AFP in an interview.