France plans to ask the EU to put agreement with South Korea under surveillance in order to limit the rising flux of Korean vehicles into the bloc.
“In some segments, like small diesel cars, imports have increased by 1,000 percent in a year,” said French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg. “Our commercial policies can no longer be naive,” he added.
He also said that considering this fact France is justified to ask the EU for surveillance measures and impose a restriction clause, similar to the past situation with American and Russian steel. Montebourg presented earlier this year a plan to support France’s struggling auto sector, based mainly on subsidies for environmentally friendly cars.
Since 2011, imports from South Korea increased by 40% mainly due to the drop in import duties on the cars coming from this country from 10% to 0 over five years. Therefore, to limit the negative effects of the ‘unfair competition’ as Montebourg called it, France prepares to ask the EU to place a trade deal between the 27-member bloc and South Korea under surveillance. The Socialist government which vowed to revive France’s struggling industrial sector was already hit by Peugeot’s decision to close a factory near Paris and lay off 8,000 employees.