The reindustrialization of the country has emerged as a campaign theme after the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the deficiencies of the French industrial fabric. The candidates are thus competing for proposals to relocate production, already at the heart of various government initiatives to revive the economy (plans France Relaunch or France 2030). Here are five proposals from candidates scrutinized:
A carbon tax in the face of “unfair competition” (Pécresse)
If she reached the Élysée on April 24, the Republican candidate Valérie Pécresse undertakes to defend “French economic sovereignty”. To achieve this, she advocates like many other candidates – including Emmanuel Macron, who wants to advance this cause during the semester of French presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) – the introduction of “a carbon tax on borders of Europe ”.
With this measure borrowed from Michel Barnier, it intends to defend French industry and agriculture so that they “are not subjected to unfair competition from countries which do not respect the same ecological discipline”. In other words, this tax imposed on the entry of the largest market in the world that is the EU would allow French producers to face countries that do not meet the same standards on CO2 emissions or use of phytosanitary products. As this is a European rule, it will obviously have to convince its EU partners.
A large loan for industrial “reconstruction” (Le Pen)
She made “economic patriotism” one of her favorite themes. If she won the presidential election, the candidate of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, would launch “a large loan for national reconstruction” of 500 billion euros that the State would pay at 2%. Its goal ? Fund an investment and loan policy intended for small, medium and very small businesses (SMEs and VSEs). “It is by boosting investment that we will recreate growth and jobs,” she assures us. By way of comparison, the stimulus plan launched by the government at the end of 2020 amounted to 100 billion euros.
A French public order (Zemmour)
“To become powerful again, France must once again become a country of industry”: Reconquest candidate Éric Zemmour devoted a large part of his Villepinte speech to reindustrialisation on December 5, a few days after officially announcing his presidential candidacy . Among the many avenues mentioned, he intends to “privilege” French companies through public procurement.
“There is no reason that all the countries of the world reserve their public contracts for their national companies, while France chooses abroad out of budgetary and European dogmatism”, he is indignant. The reorientation of public procurement towards French and European production comes up in most programs.
A green reindustrialisation (Jadot)
“If we take power, we will reindustrialize the country,” promises the environmental candidate for the presidency of the Republic, Yannick Jadot, who defends the “made in France” and advocates a green revival of the economy. In other words, it promises in particular to reorient reindustrialisation towards renewable energies or to modulate the VAT according to the environmental impact. “Ecology is the ally of industry and job creation,” he proclaimed.
Remanufacture in France (Montebourg)
Cantor of “made in France”, Arnaud Montebourg plans to set out to conquer the lost industry. The former Minister of Productive Recovery at the start of François Hollande’s five-year term has set himself the goal of “remaking on national soil the sixty or so critical products” that the country must now import, according to him.
The sectors primarily concerned are electronics, pharmaceuticals, food and even machinery. To achieve this, he estimates that between 300 and 400 factories must be rebuilt, ie “three to four new factories per department”.
And also … nationalizations, tax cuts and relocation agency
Communist candidate Fabien Roussel proposes the nationalization of large strategic companies. The sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan wants, for his part, to halve the corporation tax (IS) to 12.5%, “but only on profits reinvested in France”.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon recommends, for his part, the creation of an “agency for relocations”, which “would identify the industrial sectors essential to national sovereignty and ecological bifurcation”.