Australia-EU free trade negotiations were postponed Friday due to Canberra’s decision to cancel a major French submarine contract.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said talks with the European Union on a trade deal have been postponed, following the escalation of Canberra’s decision to cancel a $ 40 billion deal with France , reported The Globe and Mail.
Australia last month canceled an agreement with the French naval group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and will instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British technology after entering into a partnership of AUKUS trilateral security with these two countries.
The cancellation angered France, which accused Australia and the United States of stabbing him in the back. Paris has recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington, The Globe and Mail reported.
In solidarity with France, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen asked if the bloc could strike a trade deal with Australia.
Tehan on Friday declined to comment on the role the submarine deal played in the delay in negotiations, but confirmed that the 12th round of talks scheduled for Oct. 12 had been postponed by a month, reported the Globe and Mail.
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