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France's Le Maire: Europe must defend its economic interests against U.S. subsidy package

FILE PHOTO: French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a meeting in France

PARIS (Reuters) - France may try to negotiate some exemptions from the duties and limits imposed by the U.S. anti-inflation act but Europe must act to protect the bloc's economic interests, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

Le Maire will accompany French President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to the United States next week.

Europeans say the massive subsidy package to protect U.S. manufacturers in the Inflation Reduction Act could deal a lethal blow to their industries, which are already reeling from high energy prices caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"France may ask for exemptions on some duties and limits imposed by the U.S administration. But the real question we must ask ourselves is what sort of globalisation is ahead of us?" Le Maire told France 3 television.

"China favours Chinese production, America favours American production, it is time Europe favours European production...All European states must understand that today in the face of these American decisions, we must learn to better protect and defend our economic interests," he added.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)