A cinema on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The key stumbling block to a common EU position on transatlantic trade is France. The euro zone’s second-largest economy has dug its heels in over the “cultural exception” – the system of subsidies and other state supports that subsidise French film and radio production. Photograph: Mathieu Willcocks/The New York Times

When European explorers happened upon the “new world” in the late 15th century, one thing was on their minds: commerce. The politics of conquest and e(...)