France, Australia agree submarine row won’t stop trade deal

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — French and Australian officials say France’s anger over a canceled submarine contract will not derail negotiations on an Australia-European Union free trade deal. France withdrew its ambassadors to the United States and Australia after U.S. President Joe Biden revealed last week a new tripartite alliance including Australia and Britain that would allow Australia to amass a fleet of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines. The deal sunk a $66 billion contract for France’s Naval Group to provide 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines for Australia. French Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault denied media reports that France was lobbying the European Union not to sign the trade deal with Australia.