Trump to confront Macron at G-7 over French tax on tech companies
President Trump will use the Group of Seven summit in France this weekend to confront the host country over its decision to unilaterally tax major tech companies, the White House said Thursday, confirming one of several subplots that could roil the meeting of developed nations in glitzy Biarritz.
Officials said Mr. Trump views the levy as “highly discriminatory,” since it would hit U.S. giants such as Google and Facebook hard.
“He’s not going to back down in the face of countries, like France, going after our industry,” a senior administration official told reporters in a preview of the summit.
Mr. Trump departed last year’s G-7 confab early, withdrawing from a group communique and hurling insults at the host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as he jetted off.
French President Emmanuel Macron wants his 2019 edition to go more smoothly, though the digital tax is one of several thorny issues that could boil over at the Hotel du Palais along the Atlantic Coast.
There’s also Mr. Trump’s trade wars, Britain’s attempt to pull off its Brexit from the European Union, tensions in Kashmir and Hong Kong, and the potential reinstatement of Vladimir Putin’s Russia to the club of developed nations that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.