The French Government in Paris has officially withdrawn all ambassadors from the United States and Australia after the Australian government ditched a submarine deal with the French government, and instead went with the United States for their submarine deal. Negotiations over the original French submarine deal occurred 5 years ago, and the deal was estimated to cost about 66 billion dollars in price. Both deals involved the sharing of nuclear technology, the new American one has included more nuclear technology. However, the French deal was never fully touched on until recently. The Australian government pulled out of the French deal, without informing any French parties in their original deal, and instead chose to go with a new, American offer, which enraged French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who called the deal a bout of “Unacceptable behavior between trade partners and allies”. The Australian withdrawal from the deal will also remove thousands of job opportunities in the French defense industry, and cost much more money in the long term from the French economy, which will greatly affect its future projects with other outside powers.
USS Oklahoma City returns to US Naval base in Guam on Aug. 19th (US Navy via AP)
Responses from outside Pacific powers to the Australian decision have also been particularly negative, and most notably from China. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian has stated “This deal threatens the stability of the Indo-Pacific region”. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison responded by saying “Ultimately, this was a decision about whether the submarines that were being built, at great cost to the Australian taxpayer, were going to be able to do a job that we needed it to do when they went into service.” France has also called for a response from the European Union and its economic bloc and NATO, but none has come as of yet. US President Joe Biden is scheduled to hold a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron on this issue by the end of this week.
Written by Shane Miller