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French anti-war stance turns into a bomb for businesses dependant on US
Business Report ^ | April 17, 2003 | Unknown

Posted on 04/17/2003 10:21:04 AM PDT by conservativecorner

A US backlash against French products and businesses has started to bite, dashing hopes in Paris that appeals in the US to punish France economically for opposing the war in Iraq would go unheeded.

US importers of French wine are reporting sharp drops in sales in the past two months. Other French products also have been affected. The Federation of Wine Exporters has called a meeting for today to discuss how to respond. The nation's principal business federation took the unusual step of publicly acknowledging the problem, conceding on Tuesday that sales, recruitment and business contacts had been hurt.

It appealed to consumers and businesses to keep political differences from affecting commerce.

"Certain French enterprises are suffering today from the differences that have arisen among states over the Iraqi question," said the Movement of French Enterprises (Medef).

"It is necessary to say to those who are unhappy with ... French diplomacy that they are free to criticise, but they must keep products and services of our enterprises outside their quarrel."

Medef president Ernest-Antoine Seilliere said contracts had been lost because of anti-French feeling in the US.

The business federation provided no figures on the effect on French exports to the US, valued at $28.4 billion last year.

The French government and business community had hoped US francophobia would dissipate quickly without hurting trade. Both fear that French companies will be excluded from contracts in rebuilding Iraq.

The widespread view in Paris had been that calls in the US media and from some politicians for commercial retaliation against the French were having little or no effect.

The news that the boycott is significant will increase pressure on President Jacques Chirac to mend relations with Washington.

Chirac's government has toned down its anti-war talk and French officials have emphasised the need for pragmatism and moderation regarding sensitive issues such as how postwar Iraq is to be governed.

Chirac telephoned US President George W Bush on Tuesday. The leaders, speaking for the first time in two months, had what US aides called a "businesslike" conversation.

The French foreign ministry on Tuesday declined to comment on the French business federation's statement, saying the government did not respond to private declarations.

French officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, reiterated their previous position that they did not expect any significant reduction of business with the US. They noted that while US tourism in France was down about 20 percent, it had dropped even more in Britain, whose troops also fought in Iraq.

The US backlash is apparently having little or no impact on business with Germany, which also actively opposed the war.

A survey by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry of more than 300 German companies doing business in the US found no effect .

"It could be that France's position is considered to be fundamental and ours is considered to be more or less an accident, in connection with the elections we had [late last year]," said Michael Rogowski, the president of the Federation of German Industries in Berlin.

He referred to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's exploitation of anti-war sentiment to win re-election in September last year. German business groups and the German embassy in the US have scheduled a meeting in Washington next month with US businesses and politicians to try to make sure no difficulties arise in US-German trade.

US importers of French goods say the effect has been significant. Guillaume Touton, the president of wine distributor Monsieur Touton Selection in New York, says anti-French feeling cost him $500 000 in sales last month.

French wines usually account for two-thirds of his business.

"Typically the guy says: 'No, I don't want French wine. Give me Spanish wine, Italian wine'," says Touton.

WJ Deutsch & Sons, the leading US importer of French wines as measured by cases shipped, says its sales have dropped 10 percent in the past two months.

Bill Deutsch, its president, will not divulge specific figures but says his sales are down by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"We have seen French wines decreasing," Deutsch says. "We've seen stores take French wines off the floor of their store. We've seen major chains stop the advertising of French wines.''

He reports substantial increases in sales of Italian, Australian and Spanish wines.

Patricia Carreras, the president of IC&A, a home decor business in New York that imports exclusively French products, says sales have been down 40 percent to 50 percent since February.

Her small firm, with four employees, sells Limoges porcelain, hand-painted candles picturing Parisian scenes and other French-oriented products to big mail order houses and other large US companies.

"It's a very, very deep reaction," says Carreras, who is French. "We would never have expected something so lasting. I think it has been accelerating even in the last four weeks." The importers, angry and frustrated, say the government in Paris did not comprehend the effect of its war position on French businesses.

Touton has tried to fight the trend by pledging $1 for every case of wine he sells to the USO service support organisation to help US troops in Iraq. He has done it for two weeks but it hasn't helped much. He thinks business will pick up only when Chirac stops making anti-US statements.

"We want to send the message to the French to please do something. Or, if you don't want to do anything, then please shut up," Touton says. - The Washington Post

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: frenchboycott
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1 posted on 04/17/2003 10:21:04 AM PDT by conservativecorner
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To: conservativecorner
Chirac telephoned US President George W Bush on Tuesday. The leaders, speaking for the first time in two months, had what US aides called a "businesslike" conversation.

Hopefully George gave Chirac "the business".

2 posted on 04/17/2003 10:27:35 AM PDT by freedomlover
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To: conservativecorner
He thinks business will pick up only when Chirac stops making anti-US statements.

Chirac is so incredibly arrogant and anti-American, this may make him say even worse things - the idiot.

3 posted on 04/17/2003 10:27:37 AM PDT by xJones
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To: conservativecorner
Thanks goodness the French have an outstanding and reliable car industry to depend on. Oh, wait a minute, French cars are garbage. OK, then their inventive semiconductor industry will save them ... oops, they are parasites there too. Well, surely thier lines of quality home appliances chef knives? Tractor parts? No .... wait, their fine and outstanding line of womens underwear will save france from certain destruction.
4 posted on 04/17/2003 10:27:42 AM PDT by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: conservativecorner
It's "unfortunate" that someinnocent businessmen may be victims of the French government's actions. It's also, no doubt, "unfortunate" that the French actions probably caused the death of some American troops...
5 posted on 04/17/2003 10:28:41 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: conservativecorner
Nice!!!! Keep up the good work,folks.
6 posted on 04/17/2003 10:30:14 AM PDT by Mears
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To: conservativecorner

7 posted on 04/17/2003 10:34:30 AM PDT by Hillary's Folly
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To: ken5050
Maybe if we keep going with this boycott, Bush can finally kick open the Euro barriers to our agriculture products and stop them from subsidizing their airliners in order to destroy our aerospace industries. The French and Belgians are the biggest barrier in this matter.

The frogs must pay. And we should withdraw most of our troops from Germany.
8 posted on 04/17/2003 10:35:41 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: conservativecorner

Guerilla Boycott Stickers

Do your part.

From Wild Turkey Whisky to the cheese cabinet, this forward controller prepares the battlefield for the follow on grunts. I always have several dozens of these stickers in my pocket. Like any good coalition soldier, I deploy them at targets of opportunity when shopping.

Does it work? I don't know...but it sure feels good. 

So print up some small stickers
and join the coalition as a forward target designator.

Service Guarantees Citizenship

9 posted on 04/17/2003 10:37:10 AM PDT by antaresequity (...)
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To: conservativecorner
We need to start an e-mail campaign to US Air about buying the Airbus. Time to rethink their plans and get back to Boeing...or else fly Southwest.
10 posted on 04/17/2003 10:37:16 AM PDT by q_an_a
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To: George W. Bush
The troops and the bases are coming out of Germany...asap..that's a given....
11 posted on 04/17/2003 10:46:49 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: conservativecorner
In response to my daughters question about whether she should still give me French cologne for fathers day, I emailed the cologne company, based in Miami, the following query:

Subject: P**l S*******n Cologne for Men.

Dear Sir or Ma'am:

I am certain that you are aware of the current American consumer outrage at
products that are either made in France or by French owned companies. I have
used P**l S*******n Cologne, exclusively, since my daughter brought me my
first bottle for Father's Day in the mid '80's. I should care NOT to stop.

However, being a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, I am sensitive to those
country's that betray the United States. The French are free in their own
country and free here to make and sell their products. A freedom that was
purchased at great price by Americans that can be attested by the graves
in Northern France along Normandy. Graves of young Americans that will
never have a daughter or son to give them French Cologne for Father's Day.

However this freedom, brought at such great price, means I am free to
buy French products, or spurn them for domestically produced colognes and
fragrances. "Old Spice" may not be chic, but it is American. Many of the
American soldiers, now asleep in Normandy, annointed their face with "Old
Spice", after their last shave on June 5th, 1944, the night before D-Day.
Perhaps American's should "smell" American again.

The question is, as St. Exupery would express, a complication.

Therefore, I have left it to my daughter, to make the decision for me.
If she feels that French Cologne still deserves the honor of enhancing an
American veterans face, then if she buy's it for me, I will wear it.

If not, we will find a domestic substitute and buy the same for others with
the explanation that those things French, have lost their fragrance and have
become merely, an "odor".


12 posted on 04/17/2003 10:51:24 AM PDT by elbucko (Blued steel and polished walnut.)
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To: conservativecorner
"Millions for defense, but not a drop from France!"
13 posted on 04/17/2003 10:59:14 AM PDT by talleyman (Chirac is a jacques-itch)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Literary Lover
I think Germany should be hit hard

their auto workers depend on US Buyers Period

15 posted on 04/17/2003 11:30:50 AM PDT by scooby321
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To: conservativecorner
The French, Russian and German sabotaging of the U.S. in dealing with Iraq meant war had to be used. They are responsible for the American lost lives. If they had required Iraq to give up the weapons, war would not have been needed.

But, they were too involved in the profitability of voting in sanctions on Iraq, then selling banned weapons to Iraq. Veeeeerrrrrrry profiteetable......

Wonder if they should be removed from the Security Council based on their actions?
16 posted on 04/17/2003 11:47:50 AM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: elbucko
Wonderful letter. I'm mailing to my email list.
17 posted on 04/17/2003 11:53:01 AM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: conservativecorner
$crew the slimey French Frogs for the rest of this decade. Just boycott their products.

French Products to Buycott

We can resist their wines which usually come in behind the good Napa Valley Wines and Australian wines in blind tasting without French Judges like in the Winter Olympics.

We can do without French Products and services for the rest of this decade. Here is a list of French companies and their products to avoid for the rest of this decade. Please keep this list and send it to your relatives, friends and fellow conservatives via e and snail mail!

*New additions to the list.

Air France

Air Liquide


Alcatel - Based in Paris France, Provider of communications equipment, including ADSL equipment, terrestrial and submarine optical networks, public switching, fixed wireless access and intelligent networks.

Allegra (Allergy Medication) - Produced by Aventis Pharmaceuticals based in Strasbourg, France

Aqualung (Including: Spirotechnique, Technisub, US Divers, and SeaQuest)

AXA Advisors

*Bacou-Dalloz-Makes Industrial protective devices

Bank of the West - Owned by BNP Paribas

Beneteau (boats)

BF Goodrich - Owned by Michelin

BIC (Razors, Pens & Lighters) - Started in 1945 by Marcel Bich. Originally based just outside of Paris. Began trading on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1972. 40.5% Publicly traded. Bich family still owns 33.5%.

Biotherm (Cosmetics)

Black Bush

Bollinger (Champagne)

*Browning Firearms**

Car & Driver Magazine



Chivas Regal (Scotch)

Christian Dior

Club Med (Vacations) - Owned in part by Paris based CDC (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations)

Culligan (owned by Vivendi)

Dannon (Yogurt & Dairy Foods)

*Danone -Lea and Perrin, Evian and other food/water

*Decatholon Super Sport Stores or MVP Sport Stores*

* Dassault Systemes-(CATIA design software)*

DKNY - LVMH acquired 100% of Gabrielle Studio Inc., the privately owned licenser of Donna Karan trademarks back in 2001.


Dom Perignon

Durand Crystal

Elle Magazine

*Emile Henry French Cookware

*Enertec makes high speed recorders used in Recon aircraft p>Essilor Optical Products


Fina Oil - Billions invested in Iraqi Oil fields

First Hawaiian Bank

George Magazine


*Grey Goose Vodka

*GroupeSEB owns Krups, Moulinex, Roweta and Tefal Cookware

*Groupe Shneider, owner of Modicon and Square D

*Guerlain Fragrances

*Hachette Filipacchi owner publisher of many magazines sold in the USA. See the list below:***


Houghton Mifflin (books) International Herald Tribune - 181 ave Charles-de-Gaulle - F-92521 Neuilly - FRSource:World Business Council for Sustainable Development '00 [Domain Registration], [Corporate Profile]

Jacobs Creek - Owned by Pernod Ricard since 1989

Jameson (whiskey Owned by Pernod Ricard )

Jerry Springer (talk show)




*Lea & Perrins a product of Danon

Le Creuset (Cookware)

L'Oreal (Health & Beauty Products)

Louis Vuitton

Marie Claire

Martel Cognac


Méphisto (Footwear & Apparel)

Michelin (Tires & Auto Parts) - Their phone number is: (33) 1 45 66 15 53 in France

Mikasa Crystal and Glass (purchased by ARC int'l in 2001)

Moet (Champagne)

Motel 6 - 33, Avenue du Maine- 75755 Paris Cedex 15 France

Motown Records

Mumms (Champagne)

Nissan (Cars) - Majority owned by Renault


Normany Butter

Parents Magazine


Peugeot (Automobiles) - Pronounced "Pooh Joe", must be French

Pierre Cardin

Playstation Magazine

ProScan - Owned by Thomson Electronics, France

Publicis Group (Including: Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising)

RCA (televisions & electronics) - Owned by Thomson Electronics, France

Red Magazine

Red Roof Inns - Owned by the Accor group based in France

Renault (Automobiles) major owner of Nissan

Road & Track Magazine

Roquefort Cheese - All Roquefort cheese is made in France

Rowenta (Toasters, Irons, Coffee makers, etc)

Royal Canadian

Salomon (Skis)

Seagram's Gin

Sierra Software and Computer Games

*Sodexho Alliance* French Food Caterer for the US Marines

Sofitel (Hotels) - Owned by the Accor group based in France

Sparkletts (Water) - Owned by Danone, based in France

Spencer Gifts

Sundance Channel

Taylor Made (Golf)


T-Fal (Kitchenware)

The Glenlivet (Scotch) *Top Tobacco - Dist. by Republic Tobacco L.P., Glenview IL, made in France

UbiSoft (Computer Games)


Uniroyal Tires - Owned by Michelin

Universal Studios (Music, Movies & Theme Parks) -

Universal Studios is owned by Vivendi-Universal, headquartered in Paris France


Veritas Group

Veuve Clicquot Champagne


Vivendi - Vivendi Headquarters, Paris France

Wild Turkey (bourbon)

*Winchester Firearms (US Repeating Arms)**

Woman's Day Magazine

Yoplait - France-based Sodiaal owns a 50% stake of Yoplait

Yves Saint Laurent

*Yves Rocher Cosmetics

*ZigZag (tobacco papers and roller products)*

Zodiac Inflatable Boats

*New additions to the list thanks to Freepers. If you have an addition, Freepmail me with the URL showing French ownership.

** Sad news but these two companies are owned by the Belgian Company Herstal, (French Light)

***List of 18 magazines sold in USA by Hachette Filipacchi with an estimated 50 million readers: American Photo, Boating, Car Stereo Review's Mobile Entertainment, Cycle World, ELLE Decor, ELLEgirl, Flying, Home, Metropolitan Home, Popular Photography, Premiere, Sound & Vision, Travel Holiday, Woman's Day Woman's Day Special Interest Publications.

****Lagardere owns the Virgin Megastore group in France, which it bought from Richard Branson three years ago. Its Hachette media division publishes a battery of magazines including Elle , see *** Hachette Filipacchi above. Lagardere also has a stake in the Airbus manufacturing operation. The company is capitalised at over €5bn based on last week's closing prices.****

18 posted on 04/17/2003 12:00:24 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: ClancyJ
Wonder if they should be removed from the Security Council based on their actions?

Since they (except Germany) are permanent members of the UNSC, the only way to remove them from that body would be the dissolution of the UN itself.



19 posted on 04/17/2003 12:22:18 PM PDT by AFreeBird (God Bless, God Speed and safe return of our troops, and may God's love be with the fallen and family)
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To: conservativecorner
"It is necessary to say to those who are unhappy with ... French diplomacy that they are free to criticise, but they must keep products and services of our enterprises outside their quarrel."

They MUST..? The Frogs trying to tell us what to do again? Go make amour to yourselves, you cheese-eating....

20 posted on 04/17/2003 12:27:32 PM PDT by expatpat
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