With global growth already slowing down, starting a trade war now between the U.S. and the European Union would be both a political and economic mistake, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday.
That warning came in response to a question from CNBC about whether Le Maire felt worried that the next leg of a global trade war will center on the U.S. and the EU. In two Twitter posts this week, U.S. President Donald Trump hit out at the bloc, declaring it's "a brutal trading partner."
Trump on Twitter: Too bad that the European Union is being so tough on the United Kingdom and Brexit. The E.U. is likewise a brutal trading partner with the United States, which will change. Sometimes in life you have to let people breathe before it all comes back to bite you!
"We have to avoid a trade war. We're facing a slowdown both at the global level and the European level and the reason why there is such an economic slowdown is that there are trade tensions all over the world," the French minister told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington.
"There are trade tensions between the U.S. and China. We should not add trade tensions between the U.S. and the EU, it will be a political mistake and an economic mistake too," he added.