Trade

With Two Weeks Left, Trump Widens His Trade War

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Donald Trump will be physically removed from the White House in 20 days if necessary, but he's still in power at the moment and his regime is still imposing policies the incoming Biden administration will have to clean up.

I wasn't able to cover this yesterday because of -- gestures wildly -- all this shit, but Trump has imposed new tariffs on French goods in response to their adoption of a tax on digital services.

New 25 percent U.S. tariffs on $1.3 billion worth of French handbags, cosmetics and soaps will take effect Wednesday, barring a last-minute change of plans by the Trump administration. That could prompt the EU to strike back on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods.

Lighthizer announced the tariffs in July in retaliation for France’s digital services tax, which the Trump administration believes is unfairly aimed at U.S. internet giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. But he suspended the tariffs for 180 days to allow time for a negotiated settlement in talks among 137 nations that are being facilitated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

As far as Trump's wider trade war and all of his various tariffs are concerned, this should be a relatively easy one for the Biden administration to eliminate.

The Trump regime isn't arguing that a French tax on digital services is somehow a threat to national security or even making a claim that it will harm our own economy. They can't make such a claim because this only applies to services rendered inside France. Moreover, it applies to all digital services, not just those offered by American-owned companies. French and other European companies will also have to pay.

There has never been a justifiable rationale for telling another country they cannot control their own fiscal policy within their own borders. Telling other countries what they can or cannot impose taxes on is an affront to their sovereignty and we wouldn't accept it if another country told the United States that we cannot impose taxes.

We all know Trump pursued this just because he hates French President Emmanuel Macron and most of Europe in general.