May 2, 2017 / 10:30 AM / 2 years ago

France's Macron calls for higher European anti-dumping taxes

PARIS (Reuters) - French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said if elected he would push the European Union to raise anti-dumping taxes as part of an initiative to soften the impact of globalization.

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a campaign rally in Paris, France, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Independent centrist Macron - who is facing euroskeptic, anti-globalization candidate Marine Le Pen in a second-round vote on Sunday - said that addressing the wrongs of globalization would be his top priority in talks with EU member countries.

“There is a feeling of rage, an incomprehension of the way things work, of a Europe that no longer protects and a globalization with too many losers,” he said on BFM TV.

Macron said harmonizing corporate taxes in the EU, reviewing seconded-workers regulations and raising anti-dumping taxes would be among the issues he would put on the agenda of his first summit with EU leaders.

Macron, who sought higher steel import tariffs as France’s economy minister, said he wants to protect French jobs and companies with tougher anti-dumping rules.

“I want a massive increase in anti-dumping taxes when we face attacks from outside (the EU),” Macron said.

He said current levies of 100 to 120 percent on imported products sold below their production cost are not enough. In the past, China and India had sold off excess steel in Europe at a loss when they had produced too much steel, he said.

Pointing to the example of the United States, Macron also said he wanted at least 50 percent of European public tenders to be reserved for European companies.

“Europe should not be open to all winds while other countries decide to defend their own industries,” he said.

Macron said he also wants a review of EU law on “posted workers” - people working on contracts outside their home country, often in the trucking or construction business.

“People in the same country must receive the same salary for the same job. We can no longer have a system where a French worker is paid 100 while a worker coming from Poland is paid 40,” he said.

He said that unlike Le Pen he does not wants to scrap the law, as that is not possible in an open Europe and France itself sends workers abroad.

The European Commission had already proposed last year that workers from one EU country posted to work in another must be legally entitled to the same pay as host country workers, not just to the host country’s minimum wage.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq

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