WASHINGTON -- Before departing to France to attend the G-7 summit, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened the host country with a wine tax amid already strained relations with long-standing European allies.
"I don't like what France did, they put a technology tax on our tech companies," Trump said Friday before departing from Washington.
He threatened to tax French wines "like we've never seen before."
The president has previously threatened to tax French wines over the country's so-called digital tax, which the White House believes unfairly hits U.S. tech giants.
Trump left Washington hours after he announced a 5% tariff hike on $550 billion worth of Chinese imports in a tit-for-tat with Beijing that has roiled world markets.
The president is heading to the three-day gathering of the world's top democratic economies amid a slowing world economy and fears that the U.S. economy may be heading toward recession.
The G-7 meeting is typically focused on bringing consensus to tackling global problems, like addressing the world economy, however, Trump's fierce criticism of attendees France and Germany loom over any possible cooperation.
Trump told reporters that the leaders "are friends of mine for the most part."
This year, the attending countries -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the U.S. -- may forgo a final joint communique, which summarizes the agreements reached during the summit, after Trump nullified his signature on the communique with a tweet last year.
Trump, however, may find a like-minded leader in Britain's new hard-line prime minister, Boris Johnson.
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