EU will respond to US tariffs on French wine, says Tusk

The EU will ‘respond in kind’ if the US imposes tariffs on French wine. (AFP Relaxnews pic)

BIARRITZ: EU President Donald Tusk said Saturday that the bloc would retaliate against the United States if it imposed tariffs on French wine as President Donald Trump is threatening to do.

Just before leaving Washington for the G7 summit, Trump issued a fresh threat to tax French wines in retaliation for Paris imposing a sales tax on US tech giants like Google, Facebook and Apple.

“I will protect French wine with genuine determination,” Tusk said. “If the US imposes tariffs, the European Union will respond in kind.”

“The last thing we need is a confrontation with our best ally, the United States,” he added. “This is not our initiative, this trade and tariff struggle, but we have to be ready and we are ready.”

Ahead of the summit, French winegrowers were on tenterhooks to see whether Trump would follow through with his repeated threats to impose retaliatory tariffs after he vowed to take “substantial reciprocal action”.

“Those are great American companies, and frankly, I don’t want France going out and taxing our companies. Very unfair,” Trump told reporters outside the White House late Friday.

“And if they do that, we’ll be taxing their wine or doing something else. We’ll be taxing their wine like they’ve never seen before.”

Earlier this week, a US official confirmed the “highly-discriminatory digital service tax that France has decided upon” would be raised at the summit.