France threatens veto of EU-US trade deal

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | Finance News

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — France won't back free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States if they include the film, radio or TV industries.

Those sectors have traditionally been excluded from global free-trade agreements under what is known as the "cultural exception," which allows governments to subsidize and protect them.

French Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press that the latest drafts of the negotiating mandate, to be presented Friday, still have audiovisual services on the table. European officials, however, have said the "cultural exception" would be preserved.

While France doesn't have the power to block the negotiations, Bricq said she doubted the EU wanted to enter such massive negotiations without France's support.

Any treaty would eventually need the backing of all EU countries.