After his exit on the climate at the Davos Forum by castigating the "prophets of doom", Donald Trump returned this Wednesday to one of his favorite subjects: the rebalancing of American trade relations with Europe.
“It is very very hard to deal with Europe. They have taken advantage of our country for years. If we do not achieve anything in terms of trade negotiations, I will take action, and it will be very high taxes on their automobiles and other products imported into our country, "he said in an interview with the CNBC channel on the sidelines of the Forum.
In other words, Europeans have an interest in abandoning their plans for a tax on digital companies and signing a trade agreement with Washington.
This tax imposed by Paris on the activities of the digital sector, is strongly criticized by Washington which threatens to overtax the equivalent of 2.4 billion dollars of French products.
"I wanted to wait until we were done with China"
After a meeting between French presidents Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump this weekend, France indicated that it plans to "suspend" the collection of this tax this year in order to avoid American sanctions, but also to give itself more time to find a global agreement within the OECD.
Other countries have followed in France's footsteps: Austria and Italy have introduced national taxation, Spain and the United Kingdom are also considering it.
In addition, the American president met, on Tuesday, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in order to start discussions for a bilateral “trade agreement”. "If we cannot make a trade agreement, we will have to put a 25% tax on their cars," he warned in another interview with Fox News.
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The threats come as the United States signed a preliminary agreement with China last week ending two years of trade war between the two economic powers. “I wanted to wait until we were done with China. I did not want to deal with China and Europe at the same time. Now China is done, ”added Donald Trump.