This is last week’s big announcement: France will reopen mines, in this case lithium, to allow us to roll out the 1.5-tonne tanks that move our fragile people. In terms of imagination, in five years, Emmanuel Macron went from Silicon Valley to Germinal. Oops!
But there is another much deeper imagination that Emmanuel Macron is forced to give up. It’s free trade. In a long interview given to our excellent colleagues in the capitalist press, on October 16, on the eve of World Monsters on Wheels, the president declared that he wanted to create an automotive sector in France “100% circular and sovereign”.
The electric car will have to represent 100% of the vehicles produced in 2035. And comrade Macron to do it again for us with a “genuine ecological and industrial planning”. Which, if the words made sense, would require constraints, fixed prices, previously determined quantities and, above all, a “verticality” of economic life, where the State decides, and the companies that obey. But I think you’ve noticed, it’s been the other way around for a long time.
Electric shifting presents two insurmountable problems. A: they are very expensive, these crates. Result: the State is once again obliged to put its hand in its pocket. We are talking about an ecological bonus of 6,000 to 7,000 euros, for which no less than half of families in France would be eligible. Have we ever seen a consumer good so heavily subsidized with our money?
Two: France is far behind. Chinese cars are cheaper and better. This money will, therefore, be used to buy cars produced by the greatest dictatorship on the planet, which does not hide its desire to take revenge on the West, which had the bad idea of humiliating it, with the unequal treaties of the 19th century, horrors that I leave you find out. As the rebellious journalists of the echoes : “All this to get people to buy Chinese electric cars? » Answer: well, uh.
Same thing with the “electric car rental at 100 euros per month”, aimed at the poor. Question from colleagues: “With a condition of production made in France? » Reply : “You have to calibrate the measurement so that it favors you as much as possible. In France or Europe. »Translation: no.
The only solution would be to put in a national purchase clause, as Biden did in the United States. Emmanuel Macron himself says: “Americans are buying Americans and are pursuing a very offensive state aid strategy. The Chinese are closing their market. […]. I strongly advocate a European preference in this respect and strong support for the car industry. We have to accept it and it must happen as soon as possible. »
But Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, which make money from their exports and therefore need their markets to remain open, will never accept this “European preference”. On the other hand, what does it matter to them, to the unemployed French, that their new electronic car is produced in Romania or Poland and not in Asia?
Finally, we can laugh at this comic proposal by Carlos Tavares, sovereign boss of Peugeot and Citroën, according to which “We must set import tariffs for Chinese vehicles by 2035 because they are ten years ahead of us.” Emmanuel and Carlos are lost, and so are we. •