President Donald Trump suggested he might impose a 100% tariff on French wine, during his visit to New York’s Hamptons for a fundraiser on Aug. 9.
On July 26, the president promised to retaliate against France for adopting a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
“It might be on wine, it might be on something else,” he told reporters, adding that he may make a move before the Group of Seven leaders’ meeting in Biarritz, France, which starts Aug. 24.
France just put a digital tax on our great American technology companies. If anybody taxes them, it should be their home Country, the USA. We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly. I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2019
“I’ve always liked American wines better than French wines, even though I don’t drink wine,” he said. The president is a teetotaler, but one of his family businesses is a vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Even before the technology tax, Trump had French wine on his mind. In November, he tweeted that it’s too hard for American wine producers to sell in France but that the United States makes it “easy” to import French wines, which he said “must change.”
The French tax “appears to be an attempt to garner leverage” in a multilateral process as nations seek a consensus on taxing digital companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. “However, instead of helping the process along, this unreasonable tax policy will likely make consensus even more difficult to attain.”
France failed to persuade its European Union partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on tech giants, but is now pushing for an international deal with the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.