Fillon has hinted more needs to be spent on military following Trump's election
The centre-right Les Républicains candidate – who has been likened to France’s answer to Thatcher – met with Angela Merkel on Monday, who also supports such plans.
Fillon said: “Trump’s [inauguration speech]… should make it clear to us that the Americans are withdrawing.”
It echoed previous remarks on Monday, where Fillon claimed the EU is “very bad” and that Franco-German ties need to be reinforced as the relationship has never been “as empty and weak as today”.
He added: “We are not obliged to resign ourselves to the American rules.”
Trump’s inaugural speech on Friday promised to put “America first” – which is expected to usher in a new era of US protectionism and withdrawal from the global stage.
In his speech, the US President said: “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilised world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
Merkel’s chief-of-staff Peter Altmaier admitted Trump’s rousing speech had injected a sense of uncertainty among western leaders.
Mr Altmaier said: “At this point, we don’t know the ideas and initiatives of the new administration in Washington DC very well, yet. The challenge [for Europe] is… to be united.”
Fillon, who is attempting to boost his international profile ahead of France’s presidential elections later this year, was accompanied by former European affairs minister Bruno Le Maire.
The meeting between Fillon and Merkel was the second time in a month the pair had met after they had convened at a pre-summit meeting at the European People’s Party in Brussels, according to Politico.
The 62-year-old Frenchman secured the nomination for his party back in November and is expected to face National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting in May.
Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party has performed dismally in polling ahead of the vital election. The incumbent president’s own approval rating has slumped to just four per cent.
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Merkel is seeking re-election for her fourth term as German Chancellor in September.