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Opinion
Lionel Laurent

Donald Trump Throws a Tax Bomb at Emmanuel Macron

The White House is using France’s digital tax in an attempt to divide and rule in the EU. It’s a big test of whether Europe’s leaders will stand by Paris. 

Divide and conquer.

Divide and conquer.

Photographer: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

President Donald Trump has been hunting for reasons to extract trade concessions from the European Union with the eagerness of a dog scrabbling around for a bone buried in the back yard.

First came Germany’s $24 billion car trade surplus with the U.S., with Trump coming close to labeling the import of cars made by BMW AG, Mercedes and Volkswagen AG as a threat to America’s national security (before he granted a reprieve). Then there was a World Trade Organization ruling on Airbus SE’s long-running subsidy fight with Boeing Co., which gave the White House enough ammunition to threaten tariffs on at least $11 billion in European goods under the cloak of fair trade.