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Provence sends French rosé to Trump after tax threat

The French region of Provence has sent crates of local rosé wine to American President Donald Trump, after the latter threatened to increase import taxes on French wine to the USA.

Renaud Muselier, president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region - which Mr Muselier called “the leading region” of rosé wine production in France - sent two boxes of wine to Washington in response to Mr Trump’s threats.

President Trump had previously threatened to raise import taxes on French wine, in “reciprocal action” to France's planned taxation of global digital giants under the so-called GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) tax.

In a tweet, Mr Trump - who reportedly does not drink alcohol himself - called the digital tax “Macron’s foolishness” and added: “I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!”.

But this week, Mr Muselier said: “President Trump, drink our rosé, don’t tax it!”.

He added: “By threatening to overtax French rosé wine, [Mr Trump] is committing a serious error. He is threatening an exceptional economic sector, and is attacking the French ‘art de vivre’.”

Following Mr Trump’s tweet in July, French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire responded, saying: “Universal taxes on digital activities is a challenge that concerns all of us”, and said that France had “total determination” over the tax.

Mr Le Maire added that the tax was not “aimed [only] at American companies” and would apply to all digital companies with turnover on their online business of at least €750 million worldwide and €25 million in France - whatever their original nationality.

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