President Donald Trump is lashing out over a controversial new French tax slated to impact American tech companies — and he’s taking a shot at French wine in the process.
“France just put a digital tax on our great American technology companies. If anybody taxes them, it should be their home country, the USA,” Trump wrote in a tweet vowing “substantial reciprocal action” and lambasting French President Emmanuel Macron’s “foolishness.”
“I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!” he added.
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
The tax, signed into law by Macron on Thursday, will levy a 3% tax on revenue earned by tech giants operating in France. The “digital services” tax is aimed at the largest tech companies — those bringing in more than €750 million in revenue globally and more than €25 million in France, according to The Verge.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has expressed concerns the tax disproportionately impacts American companies.
“The services covered are ones where U.S. firms are global leaders,” the USTR said in a statement ahead of the bill’s passage in the French Senate. “The structure of the proposed new tax as well as statements by officials suggest that France is unfairly targeting the tax at certain U.S.-based technology companies.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally launched an investigation into the tax ahead of its passage to “determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce.”
It’s unclear how exactly the administration plans to respond to the tax, but the president’s tweet certainly hits at targeting the famous French wine industry. Though the president has personally long-abstained from drinking, the Trump organization owns and operates the largest winery in Virginia.