Earlier, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned against mixing together the issues of a digital tax that Paris seeks to slap on US tech companies and the levies on French wine pledged by President Trump.
President Donald Trump has reaffirmed his threat to impose tariffs on French wine in retaliation following Paris’ push to introduce taxes on US tech giants.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trump said that he doesn’t want “France going out and taxing great American companies” because it’s “very unfair”.
“And if they do that, we’ll be taxing their wine or doing something else. We’ll be taxing their wine like they’ve never seen before. That’s for us to tax them, not for France to tax them,” he pointed out as he was boarding a helicopter outside the White House to head to the upcoming G7 summit in the French seaside resort of Biarritz.
Trump’s remarks come a few weeks after French Farming Minister Didier Guillaume lashed out at what he described as a “completely moronic” drive by the US President to slap levies on French wine following Paris’ move to impose taxes on US digital giants.
“It’s absurd, in terms of having a political and economic debate, to say that if you tax the ‘GAFAs’ [Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple], I’ll tax wine,” Guillaume told the French news network BFM TV late last month.
He also insisted that “American wine is not better than French,” referring to Trump’s previous remarks about US-made wine being better than that of France.
Earlier, the US President went on Twitter to condemn Paris’ move to introduce taxes on US digital companies operating in France, warning that President “Macron’s foolishness” would result in Washington taking reciprocal steps against Paris and that French wine could be targeted in “substantial” retaliation.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, in turn, cautioned against linking the issue of France’s digital tax on the US tech companies to the levies on wine threatened by Trump. According to him, “the key question now is how we can get consensus on the fair taxation of digital activities”.