Urgent search for an industrial policy!

Urgent search for an industrial policy!

by Jacques Myard, political scientist, French politician, Mayor of Maisons-Laffitte, France

The crisis of  the yellow vests movement is a deep crisis, largely the result of the country’s internal devaluation policy. This had become necessary in order to comply with the notorious 3% deficit limit imposed by Brussels; it is impossible to change external currency exchange rates, within the framework of the single currency.
Wages, pensions, allowances, etc. are limited in order to reduce public spending. In the social field, the consequences are dramatic, as the example of Greece has shown; and France is taking the same road!
However, the crisis of  the yellow vests should not make us forget another important issue: the sharp competition policy of Brussels, introduced by the European Treaties - in other words, the lack of a genuine national and European industrial policy to protect our businesses.
Several recent cases recall this sad reality:

  • Ford’s refusal to allow another company to take over its plant in Blanquefort (F), because it prefers a social plan with permanent closure of the plant. The icing on the cake: the managers of Ford refuse to talk to French Minister Bruno Le Maire, whom they consider a negligible figure.
  • –The activism of the notorious [US] Elliott Fund, which “creeps in” to company shareholders and then “blackmails” the managers to obtain immediate dividend gains, which are often contrary to corporate development policies.
  • The announcement of corruption lawsuits of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) against Airbus should not obscure the very purpose of this manoeuvre. The aim is to destabilise a European competitor of Boeing by applying extraterritorial sanctions.
  • US sanctions against Teheran, which force French and European companies to cease all activities in Iran.

The fault is certainly also with the Ameri­cans and the multinational corporations, which operate unhindered in a completely deregulated economic and, above all, financial world. But the French Government and the other European governments are even more decisive, permeated by a liberal ideology, that is anchored in the marble of the European Treaties and desperately defended by the powerful “Directorate-General for Competition” of the European Commission!
It should be pointed out that the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union glorifies competition in nine articles (Articles 101 to 109) of Title VII and deals with industry only in Title XVII in a single article, Article 173. It states that state measures for industry must be compatible with “a system of open and competitive markets”.
Only the European Union believes that “free competition” is at the heart of the international economic and financial world, while all states (led by the US, China and India) monitor their industrial enterprises to protect them, if necessary, by sovereign measures against foreign threats aimed at eliminating or taking control of competitors.
By the way, it is symptomatic that France has no industry minister!
France must act independently, create sovereign means to defend our companies, but also apply the principle of reciprocity in our trade relations without fear of retaliation.
In order for this to take place, we must stop following the Brussels ideology of “free competition”; it is a question of sovereignty and national independence!    •

Source: www.bvoltaire.fr/recherche-durgence-politique-industrielle/?mc_cid=0bea85fe21&mc_eid=4edb9980d5   from 22 December 2018

(Translation: Current Concerns)

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