First, President Trump is displeased because the government of French President Emmanuel Macron decided to impose a 3 percent tax on certain revenue that tech companies earn inside France. The Trump administration has protested that this is an unfair trade practice. The administration might have a case, except that its response is to threaten a tax on French wines. According to The Post’s James McAuley, Trump told reporters on Friday, “They shouldn’t have done this. . . . I told them, I said, ‘Don’t do it because if you do it, I’m going to tax your wine.’”
It’s the French response that suggests how much Trump has beclowned the United States in issuing this threat. As McAuley reports, French Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume responded on French television by saying, “It’s absurd, in terms of having a political and economic debate, to say that ‘if you tax [Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple], I’ll tax wine.’ It’s completely moronic.” It says something about the state of the Trump administration’s foreign policy that allied ministers can describe it as “moronic” without anyone batting an eyelash.