retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration is threatening tariffs on French wine.

The reason? France plans to “tax big multinational tech companies.”

According to the story, “The law signed by President Emmanuel Macron imposes a 3% tax on the revenue of technology giants such as Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc … The tax, retroactive to January, affects companies with at least 750 million euros ($845 million) in global revenue and digital sales of 25 million euros in France. While most of the roughly 30 businesses affected are American, the list also includes Chinese, German, British and French companies.”

Responding to the law, President Trump tweeted, “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!”

Trump, of course, has long said he has never consumed either alcohol nor coffee. However, he does own a winery in Virginia.

The story notes that just last month, Trump “promised to do ‘something’ about French wine that he said is allowed into the U.S. virtually tariff-free while France imposes duties on U.S. wine, calling the arrangement unfair … Wine is France’s second-biggest export after aerospace equipment. The U.S. is the biggest market, accounting for about a quarter of France’s 13.2 billion euros in wine exports last year.”

France has argued that taxation on global digital companies is a different issue and needs to be considered separately from wine tariffs.
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