Former President Donald Trump recalled the moment he threatened to raise tariffs on France if French President Emmanuel Macron didn’t walk back his plans to tax American companies.
Trump joined Fox Business’ Larry Kudlow to discuss economic policy and his plans for 2024 when the conversation turned to tariffs.
“Tariffs give you tremendous power over countries when they’re doing bad things including war, okay? Including war. I tell the story that with France as an example they were putting, you remember when that sort of lousy period where they wanted to tax American companies very much and we had Mnuchin go to try to negotiate and you were involved a little bit but primarily treasury went in and they went to Macron and they said ‘you can’t do this, no, no.’ They were going to tax American companies a lot. I said get it done. It is not hard. Get it done. They didn’t get it done and they came to see me, and they say ‘it is not going to happen, he’s gonna tax American companies.'”
Trump said he called Macron up and told him not to tax American companies. (RELATED: Trump Hits Back At China With 30% Tariffs On $250 Billion Of Chinese Goods)
“We don’t do that to you and you’re not gonna do that to us. He said ‘oh it is too late. I’m sorry.’ And I said ‘it is too late? Okay. You get it changed in 15 minutes or I put 100% tariff on all of the wine and all of champagne that comes into the United States. We have stuff that is just as good and better, we’re gonna charge you a 100% tariff on every single bottle of wine and champagne that comes in from France into the United States. ‘No, no, you cannot do that,'” Trump recounted Macron saying. “I said ‘I can do that and I’m ready to sign it. It will take place on Monday morning and that will be it.’ He calls back in 15 minutes, ‘ok we won’t.’ You remember that? Now that’s using the power of tariffs.”
Trump threatened the tariffs after Macron tried to place a tax on revenue earned in France by American-based companies like Google and Facebook, according to CNN. Wine importers and other businesses that were operating in the U.S. to sell French goods protested the plans, saying that a 100% tariff would damage the American economy.