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US CEO Ridicules French Workers As Time-wasting

"I would like to remind Mr. Taylor that France remains the number 1. European destination from American investors," said French government spokeperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, also stepping in.

"And it's likely there are very good reasons for that."

Figures from the Organization for the Economic Co-operation and Development show that France is riding high in the top ten of the most productive European countries. However, analysts and politicians across Europe are becoming increasingly concerned the France, Europe's second-largest economy after Germany, is rapidly losing its competiveness. The exchange of letters has been played out on a broader landscape of rising unemployment and fears that French industry will fall further behind as its economy slumps.

Titan International plays on the hard reputation of its CEO, who also made an attempt to run for U.S. President in 1996 for the Republicans. The company's website features a biography explaining that the nickname comes from his "tough negotiating style" in Washington as well as a logo and sound of a roaring grizzly bear wearing shades.

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Follow Thomas Adamson at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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