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EU Needs to Reform Itseld to Compete With Big Powers - Macron

29 January 2018

President Donald Trump is expected to invite French President Emmanuel Macron to Washington for an official state visit later this year, the first of his presidency, according to two diplomatic sources.

In a much-awaited speech less than nine months after his election, Macron's 20-minute discourse on Wednesday, chiefly in English, saw him unveil his vision on how to deliver reforms "to "make France more competitive" and "more flexible".

He will visit Monday a Toyota plant in northern France before heading to the evening business event at the chateau of Versailles.

Macron said in November glyphosate would be banned in France within three years, rejecting a European Union decision to extend its use for five years after a heated debate over whether the Monsanto-developed weed-killer causes cancer.

Climate change. Referring to the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Macron said: "We haven't been able to live up to our commitments".

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Mr Macron called for a "global compact" to harness the negative effects of globalisation, warning against a race to the bottom on taxes and regulations.

Under the rubric of investment and capital, Macron highlighted France's corporate tax rate cuts and capital gains tax refunds, measures, which he said, have accelerated France's recovery and "reinforced France's attractiveness".

In terms of trade, Macron said: "We are moving towards greater protectionism". France, he said, is a "nation of entrepreneurs", but cultural norms raise obstacles to entrepreneurship. Because we will never have French success without European success. He also called for the International Monetary Fund to be given a mandate to manage emerging and unregulated financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies. "We can create a lot of jobs with such a strategy".

"If we want to avoid this fragmentation of the world, we need a stronger Europe".

The 10-year strategy would "make Europe an actual economic, social, green, scientific and political power".

EU Needs to Reform Itseld to Compete With Big Powers - Macron