Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

Trump v Macron: Awkward first meeting between leaders after coming to blows over trade war | World | News


joined French President for lunch in Biarritz to discuss their expectations for the summit. The pair appeared to temporarily set aside the ongoing tensions between and the to talk about their plans for the meeting with other world leaders. Addressing the press, President Trump insisted he has a “very close relationship,” with his French counterpart.

The bilateral meeting over lunch also focused on ongoing trade skirmishes between Washington and Paris, with President Trump reiterating his dissent over French taxes on US tech companies.

The US President said he is ready to retaliate by taxing French wine “like never before.”

President Trump said: “We can accomplish a lot this week, thank you for having us.

“The weather is good and the host is fantastic. So far so good, we have a lot in common.”

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Earlier this month Bloomberg reported the US President had floated the idea of ramping up tax on French wines to 100 percent at a business roundtable in the Hamptons.

President Trump is teetotal but he recently told reporters he had “always liked American wines better than French wines even though I don’t drink”.

France is a major wine-producing nation and the US is its biggest export market in value terms, accounting for 18 percent of French wine exports and worth €1.7bn (£1.5bn), up almost a third over the past five years.

Wine is a crucial part of France’s identity and economy – its second-biggest export after aerospace in value terms.

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“Not only because of politics, not only because of solidarity but also because of substance – we will be loyal towards France here.

Mr Tusk also warned the escalating trade war between the US and China could have serious consequences on the global community.

The top Eurocrats admitted he agrees with some commentators claiming China is “the biggest challenge for all of us,” but called for more collaboration to face the issue rather than conflict.

He added: “I can only guess what is the real intention of the main actors of this conflict.

“If someone, for example the United States and President Trump, uses tariffs and taxation as a political instrument, tool, for some different political reasons, it means that this confrontation can be really risky for the whole world, including the EU.”



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