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Wine Spectator: French Wine Could Be The Latest Trade War Target

July 31, 2019

A battle between the White House and the French government over a tax on big technology companies has President Donald Trump threatening to impose high tariffs on French wine. That has French vignerons nervous.

The spat stems from a law French President Emmanuel Macron recently approved that imposes a 3% tax on the revenues of the world’s biggest tech firms. Retroactive to January, the measure affects companies with at least $845 million in global revenues and sales of $28 million in France.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire insisted at a press conference on July 28 that the new tax is not anti-America. While most of the roughly 30 businesses affected are American, the list also includes Chinese, German, British, and French companies.

But President Trump made it clear he opposes the tax, first in a tweet on July 26 and in comments to reporters later that day. “We tax our companies, they don’t tax our companies,” said Trump. “I’ve always liked American wines better than French wines, even though I don’t drink wine.” He said he may impose the wine tariffs before a meeting of the G7 in late August. Wine Spectator has more.—Mitch Frank

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