Macron discusses digital tax amid Trump threats to target french wine with tariffs
French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the need for an international agreement on taxing US digital service companies and expressed hope for further talks regarding the digital tax at the G7 summit during a phone call with US President Donald Trump, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
Trump and his French counterpart discussed Paris’ decision to tax digital sales along with shipping issues in the Strait of Hormuz, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said, cited by AP.
"The President spoke by telephone with President Macron of France today to discuss a number of issues, including addressing the continued threat posed by Iran to commercial shipping traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, France’s decision to adopt a digital services tax, and the upcoming G7 Summit," Deere said in a readout of the call on Friday.
Macron's office told Reuters that the French leader "underlined that the G7 summit would be an important opportunity to move towards universal taxation of digital activities, which is in our common interest, and which we need to keep working on in order to obtain a broad international agreement."
He was supported by French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire who said in a statement after Trump's tweet that "the universal taxation of digital activities is a challenge that concerns all of us. We want to reach a deal on this within the framework of the G7 and the OECD."
The call came soon after Trump vowed “substantial” retaliation against France, threatening to introduce tariffs on French wine and blasting Macron’s “foolishness.”
"We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron's foolishness shortly," he said, adding later: “Might be on wine or something else.”
Trump also said that he had “always liked American wines better than French wines even though I don't drink wine. I just like the way they look.”
The US is the world's largest consumer of wine and the largest import market, with France consistently among the top origin countries for imported wine. According to France's Federation for Wine and Spirit Exporters, a bottle of American white wine with an alcohol volume of 13 percent will be subjected to an 11-cent tax, while an equivalent bottle of European wine would pay about half that to enter the US.
Trump’s threat came after France announced that it would start taxing US digital companies with global annual sales over 750 million euros ($849 million) and sales in France of at least 25 million euros after the EU failed to negotiate a European-wide tax.