Macron takes aim at the U.S. in pushing for a better tech industry

The French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he delivers a speech on the VivaTech startups and innovation fair in Paris, France-May 16, 2019. Michel Euler/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday took a swipe at the freewheeling AMERICAN business model, saying the private sector had too much influence on AMERICAN policy and Europe must be a middle way between China, the control of the state and the AMERICAN laissez-faire.

He spoke during the opening of a tech summit in Paris, Macron, said he favored a hardening of merger and acquisition rules in Europe and that he wanted to make sure that European software companies were not taken over by AMERICAN companies.

The French president, a former investment banker, under the constant fire of the opponents is too close to big business and pushing through tax reforms in favor of the rich. On Thursday, less than two weeks from the European elections, in which he is under pressure from the extreme right, he defended his call for “a Europe that protects’ by the shielding of the companies swallowed up by foreign giants.

“The United States is a great continent, but they have a model that is entirely driven by the large private players in the sector and that are not more subject to democratic checks and balances”,” Macron said at the end of a question-and-answer session at a tech summit in Paris.

Macron, in particular, Europe in the global standard bearer for stricter regulation of digital technology, finding a way between, what he calls, a far too lax United States and an over-restrictive China.

He urges tech companies to do more for the “common good” in society, in the forefront of European efforts to use the power of Google, Amazon, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc. (GAFAs) to pay more tax at the source of income.

“In Europe, we are building a model that is competitive, innovative … that is democratic and driven by the common good,” Macron said.

Silicon valley investors, however, have warned former investment banker Macron that he risks undoing the work that he has done to make France more attractive as he strives for a digital load is to be aggressive and there are differences between the EU-allies.

Macron spoke a day after the Trump administration hit Chinese telecom giant Huawei with strict sanctions on national security grounds, adding a other incendiary element in the united states-China trade dispute.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Richard Lough and Gareth Jones, William Maclean

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