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Trump Administration may hold off on 100 percent tariff on French wine

wine tariffsBut still no word on whether the U.S. will delay imposing a 100 percent tariff on all European wine

U.S. officials say they will hold off on escalating a trade war and won’t impose a 100 percent tariff on French wine and Champagne, cheese and handbags. President Donald Trump had threatened the new duties to retaliate for a French tax on U.S. tech firms, including Facebook and Google.

The tech giants, despite ample evidence that the tariff would hurt U.S. companies, opted to protect their billions of dollars in profit at the expense of U.S. jobs, and supported the president’s decision. Their backing was seen as the final impetus in imposing the 100 percent duty.

The good news: The Financial Times reported yesterday that a French finance ministry official said the two sides had agreed to a “ceasefire” until the end of the year. He told the newspaper that no tariffs would come into force before then and talks would continue on digital taxation.

The bad news: CNN emphasized that there was no official word from the White House that it would delay the tariff. This approach has not been unusual in Trump’s on-going tariff broadsides with other countries over the past three years, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the U.S. changed its mind and the tariff went into place.

In addition, it’s unclear whether this compromise will delay the the proposed 100 percent tax on all European wine, part of the on-going trade dispute about unfair subsidies to European aircraft producer Airbus.