Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Emily Zanotti.
Some of America's favorite items may be a bit harder - or more expensive - to get this winter because of issues with agricultural trade and tariffs on European goods.
That's right, Americans must brace for a shortage of French cheese, French wine and, yes, even French fries (though that last one isn't exactly related to the first two).
The United States has threatened to levy a 100% tariff on many European goods as a way of forcing the European Union into a more beneficial trade deal with the United States. The Trump Administration plays hardball on issues of international exchange and the Trump White House, currently hamstrung in its efforts to re-ink trade contracts with China, is looking to change the dynamics of its trade relationship with the EU.
The move comes in response to a recent memo listing a handful of new "technology taxes" levied against American companies like Facebook and Google, which threaten to stifle the growth of both platforms in Europe.
"The list of proposed US tariffs covers dozens of products,"
CNN reports, "including cheeses, beauty products, handbags and sparkling wines such as champagne. The move risks escalating transatlantic trade tensions after the United States already hit $7.5 billion worth of European goods - including French wine, Italian parmesan cheese and Scotch whisky - in October over subsidies to planemaker Airbus (EADSF)."
Trump told repoters in London, where he's attending a meeting of NATO, that while he has no love for either Facebook or Google, he feels compelled to defend American interests, according to CNN.
"I'm not going to let people take advantage of American companies,"
Trump said. "If anyone is going to take advantage of the American companies, it's going to be us, it's not going to be France."
It likely helps that Trump has put French President Emmanuel Macron in his crosshairs after Macron pushed back on Trump's suggestion that the United States should be allowed to provide less in the way of financial support for NATO forces. Trump pointed out, rightly, that the United States is called upon to subsidize NATO's operations but is rarely given the authority to direct missions. Macron fired back in an tense exchange, suggesting that the collaborative contract that created NATO made all participants equal and that member nations rarely parse responsibility or consider it.
The plan worked for Trump, though. CNN reports that the European Union is looking for "immediate discussions with the United States on how to resolve the dispute and avoid a confrontation."
Meanwhile, some domestic products are proving difficult to keep on store shelves. Because of issues with the potato crop in both the United States and Canada, Yahoo News reports
, Americans might find it more difficult - or, at least, more expensive - to "super size" their fast food meals.
"Potato processors are rushing to buy supplies and ship them across North America in order to keep French fries on the menu after cold, wet weather damaged crops in key producers in the U.S. and Canada,"
according to Yahoo and MSN. "Cool conditions started to hit growing regions in October, lashing potatoes with frost. Farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to dig up some damaged crops for storage. But growers in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota received snow and rain, forcing them to abandon some supplies in fields."
French fry production, therefore, won't be able to keep up with French fry demand, which producers say has been "outstanding."