Wine lovers and producers on both sides of the Atlantic are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Presidents Emanuel Macron and Donald Trump announced that the U.S. and France agreed to ice their escalating trade war until the end of the year. In short, those much discussed 100% tariffs on French wine are on ice for now.
Prior to the truce, Trump was threatening to impose a 100% tariff on several French goods including wine and cheese in retaliation for a new French tax on tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. The wine world reacting with outrage, predicting devastation for the industry in both nations.
However, on Monday (1.20), the leaders announced plans to enter negotiations and table their respective taxes. True to the times, the news broke on Twitter.
Macron wrote, “Great discussion with @realDonaldTrump on digital tax. We will work together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation.”
A Trump spokesperson issued a short statement using similar verbiage. The White House stated that they “agreed it is important to complete successful negotiations on the digital services tax.”
France will not pause on assessing the digital tax for the next two quarters. The Trump Administration, notorious for ambiguity, heavily implied that there will be no new tariffs, but stopped short of explicitly declaring as much.
Of course, there is still an existing 25% tariff on French wine stemming from a different, long running dispute over unfair trade practices employed by Europe aviation heavyweight Airbus.
In addition, less than 24 hours after resolving (or at least postponing) the French wine tariffs, Trump threatened to impose tariffs on European automobiles.