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France ready to hit back if U.S. sanctions EU imports - minister

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PARIS, Oct 2 (Reuters) - France is ready to retaliate if the United States goes ahead with trade sanctions on EU imports, its finance minister said on Wednesday after Washington won WTO backing for the measures.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said it would be "an economic and political mistake" if the U.S. went ahead, after the World Trade Organisation ruled that the U.S could target $7.5 billion of EU imports over illegal subsidies for planemaker Airbus.

"We will be ready to respond firmly with our European partners," Le Maire said in a statement.

"A friendly resolution to the Boeing/Airbus dispute is the best solution, and all the more so given that Europe could impose sanctions on the United States next year," he added. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Christian Lowe)