Europe

Trump threat to tax French wine completely moronic, minister says

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Media captionDonald Trump, who is teetotal, explained his preference for US wine over French last week

The French agriculture minister has called US President Donald Trump's threat to tax French wine "completely moronic" and "absurd".

Mr Trump made the threat last week in response to French plans to tax multinational firms like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

He also stated that the US makes better wine than the French.

In a rant on French TV, Didier Guillaume called Mr Trump's rationale "completely stupid".

"It's absurd, in terms of having a political and economic debate, to say that if you tax the 'GAFAs', I'll tax wine. It's completely moronic," Mr Guillaume told BFM TV, in reference to Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

"This is the third time the US president has threatened a tax, the third time in a year. We'll see if he goes through with it," he said.

"American wine is not better than French wine," he added.

Mr Trump last week accused French President Emmanuel Macron of "foolishness" after France became the first major economy to impose a tax on the companies.

French authorities argue that the firms pay little or no corporate tax in countries where they are not based, but Mr Trump has said the tax unfairly targets US tech giants.

"France just put a digital tax on our great American technology companies. If anybody taxes them, it should be their home Country, the US," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

"We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron's foolishness shortly. I've always said American wine is better than French wine!"

The US president - who is teetotal - later said he preferred the way American wines looked.

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