Earlier today President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron had a phone call about the pending French digital services tax on U.S. companies, and USTR Lighthizer’s pending $2.4 billion 100% countervailing duty against high-end French products:
WHITE HOUSE – Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Emmanuel Macron of France. The two leaders agreed it is important to complete successful negotiations on the digital services tax, and they also discussed other bilateral issues. (link)
Where “avoid tariff escalation” means Macron just took a knee. He really has no choice.
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer calculated a $2.4 billion pending tariff, at a rate of 100%, against select high-end French products as a result of France’s desperation for tax revenue and deciding to tax U.S. digital services.
The WTO already handed the U.S. legal authority against the EU for $2.5 billion in annual tariffs as a result of the Boeing case. Legally the EU cannot retaliate.
With Britain leaving the EU; and with Germany, France and Italy already suffering from a lack of investment and shrinking sales of industrial products – the EU economy is a sitting duck for President Trump to target. There is no-way France can lead the charge in a tariff battle against the United States…. The conversation goes something like this: