PARIS: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called today for an overhaul of the World Trade Organisation, just two days before European companies may be hit with steep US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
"We share some of the worries expressed, for example, by the United States over the faulty workings of certain multilateral agencies," including the WTO, Le Marie said at a gathering of OECD officials in Paris.
"This organisation is needed and it should be profoundly rethought," he said.
The European Union has been lobbying hard to remain exempted from the punitive US tariffs, announced by President Donald Trump in early March.
But officials have indicated they see little chance that Trump will continue exempting EU companies from the duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminium.
The exemptions run out on Friday.
The WTO and other agencies have warned the protectionist threat from Trump's "America First" administration could hamper global growth.