Trump's Trade Policies Are 'The Law of the Jungle,' France Says

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and President Donald Trump (R) make a statement to the press before a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on July 11, 2018 LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

France's finance minister has referred to President Donald Trump's trade policies as "the law of the jungle," as the G20 (Group of 20) nations gather in Argentina.

Bruno Le Maire said this weekend that a trade war is now a reality, criticizing the Trump administration's "unilateral" policies.

"The law of the fittest – this cannot be the future of global trade relations," Le Maire said, the BBC reported. "The law of the jungle will only turn out losers, it will weaken growth, threaten the most fragile countries and have disastrous political consequences."

Le Maire's criticism comes in the wake of new tariffs implemented by the Trump administration in June, which levy an additional 25 percent tax on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imported to the U.S., including from traditional allies in Europe and North America. In response, the European Union has enacted retaliatory tariffs.

French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire (R) and US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, arrive to hold a bilateral meeting in Buenos Aires, on July 21, 2018, in the framework of the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. - Global trade conflicts triggered by the protectionist policies of President Donald Trump are set to dominate this weekend's meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers in Buenos Aires EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images

Trump inflamed things further last week by calling the EU a "foe" when it comes to trade. In response to the new U.S. trade policies and Trump's critical remarks, European leaders have spoken out against the White House.

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said last week that Europe can "no longer rely on the White House." He also said that the continent must not let itself be divided, "however sharp the verbal attacks and absurd the tweets may be."

Earlier this month, Le Maire also said that "war has already started" between the U.S. and Europe, highlighting the trade policies of the White House. "Our reaction should be united and strong to show that Europe is a united and sovereign power," the French minister said.

European leaders are also at odds with the White House over Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement.

In June 2017, Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris agreement. Every other nation in the world had signed the agreement, isolating the U.S. entirely, as of November. The Trump administration also stepped away from the Iran nuclear agreement and promised the "strongest sanctions in history" against the Islamic Republic in May. European leaders scrambled to salvage the agreement, working with Iran as well as Russia and China.

French leaders have been particularly critical of the Trump administration's policies. As world leaders arrived at the G7 (Group of Seven) summit in Canada last month, French President Emmanuel Macron took a shot at Washington's new policies, suggesting the group of wealthy nations do not need the support of the U.S. moving forward.

"The six countries of the G7 without the United States are a bigger market taken together than the American market," Macron said. "We don't mind being six, if needs be."

Despite the opposition from traditionally close U.S. allies, Trump and his administration have maintained their position on trade. Speaking in Argentina on Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told international counterparts that the U.S. is "ready to sign a [new] free trade agreement with no tariffs, no non-tariff barriers and no subsidies."

But Le Maire said France "won't negotiate with a gun to the head."