Casino Barrière Biarritz, France August 26 4:32 P.M. CEST
(As interpreted.) Mr. President, Madam First Lady, ladies and gentlemen - ladies and gentlemen: Following this G7 meeting that we have just held, and we've been discussing for two days now and I'm going to report back to you. But, first of all, I'd like to thank President Trump and all the heads of state and government present here for the extremely productive work and the very productive discussions that we've had since Saturday evening together.
There was a lot of nervousness at the outset. A lot of expectations. A lot of tensions. And we heard about a lot of conflict. And I can say that what we were really keen on was to convey a positive and joint message following our discussions - discussions on several topics.
We haven't negotiated a very long text, as promised, and you will get just a one-page declaration but there will be a lot of different annexes to it. But it's just one page. A one page that covers some of the key items that were addressed.
Now, we have decided to hold this joint conference. I'm going to give the floor to President Trump. And, of course, President Trump and the First Lady will then proceed with their own press conference to the American press where other discussions will take place. But I just wanted to sum up the different items on which we have agreed and the topics on which we have made headway: biodiversity, digital economy, amongst others.
So we wanted to hold this joint conference together because next year it is the United States of America that will host the G7 Summit, and we are going to pass the burden on to President Trump. That is why we are here together.
And I just wanted to say that, for the last two days, we have worked a lot together on several common points. Well, we have a lot of things in common, but one thing we have in common with President Trump is they don't like to waste our time, and we like to achieve concrete results and provide momentum to the work.
And as soon as President Trump arrived with the one-to-one lunch that we had together, and I think that was the most productive and interesting conversations that we've had together. And from that point onward, we set the pace and kept the ball rolling to be as efficient as possible until the very end.
There are a few things that are expected from both our countries.
As far as Iran is concerned, President Trump and myself have had discussions in the last few weeks and particularly the last couple of days. And we agree that Iran needs to comply with its nuclear obligations and have responsible behavior in the Gulf, and work with us.
And there were two very clear things that matter to us. Iran should never have a nuclear weapon, and its situation should not threaten the stability of the region.
France has taken a lot of different initiatives, and I've always informed President Trump on them, to be able to get the technical means to move forward, because the decisions that the U.S. has taken in the last few months have put a lot of pressure and have put us in a situation where it is indeed necessary to improve the security situation of the region.
So we coordinated our efforts and we reached the decision to bring together the foreign ministers - Foreign Minister of Iran, who had a meeting with the French Foreign Minister. And a roadmap has sort of been set, but nothing is absolutely set in stone. And we will have to move ahead together to find an outcome.
This morning, President Rouhani said that he was prepared to meet any political leader in the interest of his country. And that's what I told Minister Zarif. And this is what I mentioned to President Rouhani on the phone as well: that if he would agree to a meeting with President Trump, that my conviction was that an agreement can be met. We know the terms, we know the objectives, but we have to just now sit around the table and make that happen. So I hope that in the next few weeks, based on our discussions, we will be able to achieve them.
The meeting that we just mentioned between President Rouhani and President Trump, myself, and the partners who have a role to play in nuclear negotiations, would also be fully involved in these negotiations. And I think that this meeting is very important. And the last few days have clarified the situation. A lot of messages have been conveyed. A lot of work has been done with our - between our ministers.
I would like to thank our ministers who have been totally involved into these discussions and have set the stage for these discussions and for an agreement.
Of course, I want to be very cautious and very modest. But I think that this is going to lead to bring an end to escalation and reaching a suitable solution to this.
The discussions that we had on Saturday afternoon and Saturday dinner have been very fruitful. And our purpose is to ensure the stability of the region. The idea is to make sure that Iran doesn't get the nuclear weapon and have more visibility in the long term.
As far as trade is concerned, we've also shared a lot of analysis and a lot of observations, which I'll go into the details of that. But I think that we can say that our discussions have clarified what is legitimate and what the United States feels is an unfair situation.
We have international rules that govern international trade. And in this one-page document, we said that it is very good to have a single organization that governs international trade, but so far, this collective body has not been very efficient in raising trade barriers. It has not been efficient enough in solving problems when they occurred. It has not been efficient enough in protecting the intellectual property of our industries.
Discussions are underway, currently, in particular between President Trump and President Xi. And we have seen even, in just the recent - very recent past, that an agreement can be reached.
So we want to reaffirm our desire to change the rules that govern international trade and revamp them so that no one is dealt with unfairly. So that our workers are protected and so that the situation of the past is put to an end. And this is something that we need to work on together.
Now, there was a lot nervousness because of misunderstanding, because some very powerful economic players could have said, "What about this digital tax that France has imposed"? Well, we have reached a very good agreement. And once again, the solid work that has been done upstream by our ministers have - has really helped us to make progress.
In our economies, we have very unfair situations where some players don't pay taxes. So, there is unfair competition with other players. And it is these large multinational players that don't pay taxes, which leads to significant instability on the economic front. Is this fair? It is not fair.
Of course, we're pushing for international rules on this. And at the European level, to 10 countries - France, Italy, even the UK is getting ready to do so - it has decided to do something at the national level. But it is not against any company in particular. It's just to solve the problem. In fact, a lot of French companies will also be impacted by this tax.
And some of you have probably heard me say a few months ago that this is only to find a solution. And the aim, ultimately, is to find an agreement internationally by 2020 to revamp international tax systems within the framework of the OECD to combat harmful trade practices, which are also harmful to the U.S. economy.
And through this digital tax, on this digital tax, we have worked a lot bilaterally as well. And we have reached an agreement to overcome the hurdles. So we're going to work on a bilateral and multilateral basis to find a solution together.
And the day international tax exists on digital services, France will do away with its national tax. And everything that has already been paid under the French tax system will be reimbursed.
So the idea is that we need to find a joint agreement in order to address joint international problems. And the situation right is now very negative, and the international tax system definitely needs to be modernized. And I think we will work together in a spirit of cooperation on this.
Read the full transcript HERE.
You can visit a collection of all White House posts by clicking here.