French senator: U.S. long-arm jurisdiction challenges sovereignty of other countries

2019-05-28 10:51:25Xinhua Editor : Jing Yuxin ECNS App Download

The United States is challenging the sovereignty of other countries by overstretching its jurisdiction and applying unilateral sanctions, said a French senator.

"France does not wish for a power logic in which one questions the forces of the other, and says to oneself that if one's own forces are superior, you then have the right to put the other countries in difficulty," Philippe Bonnecarrere told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.

The senator made the remarks against the backdrop of Washington's increasing inclination to exercise the so-called long-arm jurisdiction and throw its weight around against other countries.

In the name of protecting domestic industries, the United States has placed steep tariffs on billions of U.S. dollars' worth of products from its major partners, including the European Union (EU) and China.

In the latest flare-up in trade tensions with China, Washington increased additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent earlier this month, and threatened to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports. It has also imposed restrictions on the sale and transfer of U.S. technologies to Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Such unilateralist moves have given rise to a growing chorus of concern that the United States is trampling on international norms, shaking the foundation of the global trading system and jeopardizing world economic growth.

France is not favorable to Washington's tariff hikes and Huawei ban, said Bonnecarrere, head of the European Affairs Committee of the French Senate.

"Nothing can be done on the basis of the weakening of one country by another country. We will have only misfortune to expect from the humiliation of a people by another people," he stressed.

The EU-U.S. relations is also overclouded. "Historically, there was shared perspective between Europeans and Americans," said Bonnecarrere. "We have discovered with stupefaction that this world had changed."

Referring to his October 2018 report of "Extraterritoriality of American sanctions: what responses from the European Union?", he said the report began in the context of a crisis in EU-U.S. ties.

"On the one hand the United States no longer considers the European Union as a friend but rather as a competitor for global economic leadership," he said.

"On the other hand, we have also returned to a world of power dynamics here where historically the European Union was constructed on the idea of a balance between states," he added.

To the French senator, such U.S. moves such as withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and slapping extraterritorial sanctions have all cast shadows on the transatlantic relationship.

Noting that the United States has developed a set of rules concerning anticorruption, taxation, investment and arms exports that have major impact on firms in other countries, Bonnecarrere said a diplomatic challenge to the independence of the EU and its member states has been launched.

Thanks to economic globalization, large European firms all have capital from different countries, including the United States, and due to Washington's threat of sanctions, they have to comply with American rules, he explained, adding that it is in this sense that the EU is seeing its sovereignty called into question.

"The obsession with power relations is mortifying in light of our history," said the senator.

In his report, Bonnecarrere suggested three ways for the EU to respond to the extraterritoriality of American laws.

"The first response that I advise with all my conviction is to carry on with the construction of the European Union," he said. "The second response is to use as much as possible our currency, the euro. The euro must be an exchange currency and not only a reserve currency."

"Our third response," he added, "would be to once again find around the world a culture of negotiation, the ability to negotiate, in short, multilateralism."

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