Macron says deal struck with U.S. on taxing tech giants

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron’s governments have struck a deal to end a feud over France’s tax on some tech giants, the French president said.

“We have reached a very good agreement,” Macron said at a joint news conference with Trump at the conclusion of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France.

Trump had threatened to impose tariffs on French wine imports in response to France’s planned tax. He didn’t directly answer when asked to confirm the deal, instead joking that “I can confirm the first lady loved your French wine.”

Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace
Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Bloomberg that wine tariffs were definitely off: “It is obvious when we have a formal and definitive deal we withdraw what was the issue, the section 301, that is the heart of the deal.” It was a reference to the legal mechanism the Trump administration used to start retaliatory action.

The law Macron signed imposes a 3 percent tax on the revenue of technology giants such as Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Trump objected to France taxing U.S.-based companies.

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.

“We are pushing for international rules on this,” Macron said. “It is not against any company in particular, it’s just to solve the problem.”

Trump has heaped praise on Macron throughout the G-7 summit, which wraps up Monday.

— Josh Wingrove and Helene Fouquet
Bloomberg News