France and EU say they’re ready to retaliate over U.S. tariff threat on $2.4 billion in imports from France

On Tuesday, France and the European Union said they are ready to retaliate if President Trump acts on a threat to impose duties of up to 100% on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products worth $2.4 billion.


The threat of punitive tariffs came after a U.S. government investigation found France’s new digital services tax would harm U.S. technology companies, and will intensify a festering trade dispute between Europe and the United States.

“They’re starting to tax other people’s products so therefore, we go and tax them,” Trump said in London on Tuesday ahead of a NATO alliance summit. He had earlier said he would not allow France to take advantage of American companies and that the European Union treated the United States very unfairly on trade.

The European Commission said the 28-nation EU would act as one and that the best place to settle disputes was at the World Trade Organization. The United States has already imposed 25% duties on French wine and cheese as part of its WTO-sanctioned response to illegal EU aircraft subsidies, a move exporters warned would penalize U.S. consumers while severely hurting French producers.

France’s 3% levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by companies with more than 25 million euros ($27.86 million) of revenues from France and 750 million euros ($830 million) worldwide. An investigation by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office found the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy”. It said the tax was “unusually burdensome” for U.S. companies including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, and Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, as we wrote back in April:

As per the EU itself, the smart approach for Apple et al. is to lobby for harmonized EU taxation over a state-by-state patchwork of taxes, as that will at least offer simplicity, stability, and predictability.


  1. France decides it has the power to tax “revenues”, not profits? Where are the French “digital companies”? Oh, the French are too busy sealing off vast areas occupied by Muslims as “no go zones” for police to create any useful tech companies. So, they decide to just steal American tech companies money. Well, I am glad our President is willing to triple the price of French wine and cheese which are only bought by people with too much money anyway. But this could end, when the French stop stealing what is not theirs.

    1. It’s not theft. The French consumer belongs to the country of France. They elect leaders to represent them. It is their house.

      Now, if i might, just might, clothespin my nose and agree somewhat with something the President* says, is the management of globalization. There is nothing unfair, illegal, or immoral at what France is proposing. This is regardless of whether I agree with it or not.

  2. Trump loves applying tariffs on a wide range of products and countries. He has no idea of the damage it cause in this country. Just ask soy bean farmers, especially the ones who have gone bankrupt.

    BTW, taxing revenues is pretty common in the US as well. Look at sales taxes in almost every state. Excise taxes? Our politicians are pretty enamored with taxing revenues.

  3. So, why is the Leader of our democratic country getting into such an absurd trade war with one of its most long-term allies? This makes no sense. The only good to come out of this may be for the French protestors to get riled up against Trump (as well as their own leader). Neither side – right nor left – sees Trump as a good man in France. With tourism down in the US.- a loss of $4.6b – with a real “slump” since he took office…not hard to see that people across the globe don’t like our Prez and would rather visit somewhere else. With him we lose.

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