Tags: Brown | Sarkozy | Brown | protect

Sarkozy, Brown Slam U.S. on 'Protectionism'

Friday, 12 Mar 2010 11:03 AM


Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown joined forces to attack the US for "protectionism" over an aerospace deal after talks in Downing Street.

The two leaders staged a show of unity at a joint press conference, hailing cooperation between Britain and France.

The French President is also meeting Tory leader David Cameron and joked he had been told there was an election on.

He said he regretted the Conservatives' decision to leave the main centre-right grouping in the European Parliament.

A European-led consortium pulled out of bidding this week for a £35bn contract to build a new Air Force refuelling tanker, saying the Pentagon was favouring rival American bidder Boeing.

"This is not the right way for the United States to treat its European allies," said Mr Sarkozy.

"If they want to be spearheading the fight against protectionism, they shouldn't be setting the wrong example of protectionism," he said. "In life there is what you say and then there is what you do.

Mr Brown said he was disappointed with the situation: "We believe in free trade, we believe in open markets, we believe in open competition."

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