Trump slams France's wine industry, accusing it of unfair trade practices

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday took aim at France's trade practices surrounding its wine industry.

  • He said the country charged "big tariffs" compared with the "very small tariffs" the US placed on French wine.

  • Trump's relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron has been deteriorating in recent weeks.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday railed against what he framed as unfair trade practices by France when it comes to wine.

"On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S.," Trump tweeted. "The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!"

The European Union levies tariffs ranging from $0.11 to $0.29 a bottle on wine that is imported from the US, while bottles exported from the EU to the US are hit with a tax of $0.05 a bottle, the Wine Institute says. Data specific to France was not readily available.

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In 2017, the US imported $1.8 billion worth of French wine, while France bought just $71 million worth of US wine, according to data from the International Trade Centre. The US is the largest destination for French wine, making up 17% of the country's exports, according to the data.

Trump's tweet comes amid a deteriorating relationship between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. Earlier Tuesday, Trump took aim at France's war record in response to Macron last week suggesting Europe needed an army to "protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America."

Macron later clarified his comments to say they were directed at cybercrime and building domestic defense industries that didn't rely on US arms.

"Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!"

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