France and EU ready to respond with sanctions in U.S. trade dispute: French minister

FILE PHOTO: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a joint news conference with German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier after a meeting in Paris, France, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France and the European Union (EU) are ready to respond "with sanctions" if the United States were to reject the hand extended by Europe in the Airbus AIR.PA trade dispute, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

“If the American administration rejects the hand that has been held out by France and the European Union, we are preparing ourselves to react with sanctions,” said Le Maire.

The United States on Wednesday said it would slap 10% tariffs on European-made Airbus planes and 25% duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta