Saturday, July 11, 2020

Favoring Hi-Tech Tax Cheats Over Consumers of French Wine

Hoping to buy a nice bottle of French wine? Doug Palmer of Poltico has some bad news for you:
The Trump administration announced Friday a 25 percent tariff on $1.3 billion worth of French handbags, cosmetics and soaps in retaliation for a digital services tax on U.S. internet giants, but said it would suspend imposing them for up to six months. The United States believes the way the French tax is structured unfairly targets large U.S. internet companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. However, other countries are increasingly determined to find a way to collect revenue from firms that earn billions of dollars in their markets.
Let’s note that Amazon, Facebook, and Amazon made yuuuuge profits and evade U.S. corporate profits taxes. So paying a modest excise tax on European sales is not exactly going to bankrupt these tax cheats. But back to the story:
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office concluded last year that France’s digital service tax was unreasonable, discriminatory and a burden on U.S. commerce. It also laid out a list of $2.4 billion worth of French goods — including Champagne, cheeses, handbags, soaps and fine dinnerware — that could be hit with retaliatory duties as high as 100 percent. U.S. trade officials said the final retaliation figure announced Friday reflects the value of U.S. digital transactions covered by France’s 3 percent digital services tax, which is estimated to be in the range of $15 billion per year, and the amount of taxes that France is expected to collect from U.S. companies.
If collecting tax revenues were the goal, the U.S. could make much more from Amazon, Facebook, and Google by simply enforcing the transfer pricing rules. Oh but that would be taxing rich people which is not the Republican way. Back to the story:
The final retaliatory list leaves off Champagne, cheese and fine dinnerware. U.S. wine wholesalers and retailers, who have already been hurt by a 25 percent U.S. retaliatory duty on European wine in a separate dispute over European government support for aerospace giant Airbus, fought Lighthizer’s threat to include French Champagne in the retaliatory list for the digital services tax.Industry groups estimated an additional 100 percent duty on French sparkling wine would increase the cost to importers by $718 million and cause the loss of more than 17,000 jobs throughout the distribution chain. A tariff of just 25 percent would boost costs by $179 million and jeopardize an estimated 6,000 jobs, the groups said.
Screw the little guy and consumers too. That’s the Republican way.


Anonymous said...

Such idiotic policies make you want to start drinking!

ilsm said...

I do not drink wine. I occasionally have an imported Belgian Abbey ale, is there a tariff on that?

Fred C. Dobbs said...

US threatens tariffs on European beer

Brussels Times - June 25

The United States has announced is it considering applying import tariffs to a number of European products exported to the US, including beer, gin and olives.

The threat is the latest move in a trade dispute that has been dragging on for 16 years, and concerns state aid by the US to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, and on the other side by the EU to Airbus. ...

ilsm said...

Oh, No!!!

My Belgian Abbey Ale trade is roughly 2 six packs a year, one always for Sept trout trip.

pgl said...

I just bought a six pack of Samuel Adams beer. Thank goodness does not impose tariffs on beer from Boston even though we consider it a foreign land.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

(No worries, mate.)


HEMLOCK STOUT: A dark, robust cream stout flavored with the addition of New Hampshire hemlock tree tips. The hemlock & dark roasted barley provide a strong flavor; long aging in the cellar makes it smooth. 4.6% abv. For Hemlock Stout tasting review, See video blog page.

HOOF & HAMMER: A copper-colored, spicy Belgian style ale with a touch of molasses. Fermented with Belgian Abbey and lager yeasts. 5.8% abv.

SNORING MASTIFF: A traditional stout with lots of chocolate wheat malt. Black as night with roasted grain character. 3.5% abv.

(More choices at the link.) said...

As far as I am concerned, French wine is a necessity. Sacre bleu!

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Do consider the lush, tariff-free
vintages of NY's Finger Lakes region.

Bully Hill Vineyards, s'il vous plait.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Or as ilsm should point out,

It’s Time to Pay Attention to New Hampshire Wine

ilsm said...


Can you find Rheingold in NY? I get to LI occasionally, rarely time to go out to find beer of my youth. My 'upstate' classmates had Utica Club......'

Sam Adams is good but as Fred noted there are NH vineyards and breweries, and we had NYE dinner at a small vineyard in NH with samplings of the vineyard wines. To be polite I drank the wine..... what choice does a fellow have?

Temperance in moderation; from my PCP (two PCP's ago), 2 drinks per day is the limit if you want a good immune system.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

ilsm, your 'upstate' classmates had
Genesee Cream Ale ('Jennie") from the
'sparkling clear waters of Hemlock Lake!'

(Arguably, some of the worst beer every made.)

pgl said...

My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer.
Think of Rheingold whenever you buy beer.
It's not bitter, not sweet; it's the dry flavored treat.
Won't you try extra dry Rheingold beer?

Rheingold was NY's beer in its day. I think they have started producing it again but I have not seen it in my local stores.

ilsm said...




"It's the (reputed to be green) water" was the claim!! Gennie Cream Ale is upper class compared to the more plain Gennie beer.

From their website

"Today, every can, bottle and pint glass delivers the same full taste and quality that made it famous in 1878. Brewed with six-row barley malt, corn grits and hops from the Yakima Valley, Genesee Beer will forever be a classic."

Anonymous said...

Thomas Jefferson's last communication before dying was to check on his order of french wine.