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Most French people no longer consider US a trusted ally

France is famously America's oldest ally, but more than half of French people no longer consider the United States a reliable partner, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Most French people no longer consider US a trusted ally
Photo: AFP
Just 44 percent said the US was a “trusted ally” under President Donald Trump — a 33 point plunge since the same survey was done in May 2014, when Barack Obama was in the White House.
 
Only 17 percent said they had a positive opinion of Trump in the Ifop poll, commissioned by the American Jewish Committee advocacy group, France's Foundation for Political Innovation and the Sursaut think-tank collective.
   
Some 54 percent said they had a “very bad opinion” of the Republican leader.
   
Supporters of the far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen — formerly the National Front — were the only group to express a more positive opinion, with 42 percent backing Trump.
   
Despite warm ties dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century and their alliance in World War II, US policy has long been a source of criticism in France, not least since the conflict in Iraq.  
   
As Trump pursues punitive trade tariffs, 78 percent believe the US is bad for French growth.
   
And with Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, 88 percent also see his country as an adversary in the fight against global warming. 
   
The figures do however point to a slight improvement in opinions since Trump's victory in November 2016, when just 38 percent considered the US a trusted ally.
   
Attitudes also vary between age groups, with the oldest French nationals holding the most pessimistic views of the US.
   
Only 38 percent of those over 65 see Washington as a trusted ally, compared to 52 percent of those aged 18 to 24.
   
The survey questioned 1,007 people online on September 10 and 11. 

Member comments

  1. I agree with these polls. Trump the human wrecking ball cannot be trusted under any circumstances. I never thought I would live to see what’s going on with US foreign policy. Why can’t we ever learn from history?

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US

Trump orders investigation into France’s planned tax on tech giants

US President Donald Trump has ordered an investigation into France's planned tax on internet services that will hit American tech giants especially hard, officials said Wednesday.

Trump orders investigation into France's planned tax on tech giants
Photo: AFP
The investigation into unfair trade practices could pave the way for Washington to impose punitive tariffs, something Trump has done repeatedly since taking office.
   
“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
   
The proposed three percent tax on total annual revenues of companies providing services to French consumers only applies to the largest tech companies, “where US firms are global leaders,” the trade representative's office said.
 
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France to introduce tax on big US tech firms in JanuaryPhoto: AFP

The so-called Section 301 investigation is the primary tool the Trump administration has used in the trade war with China to justify tariffs against what the United States says are unfair trade practices.   

USTR will hold hearings to allow for public comment on the issue over several weeks before issuing a final report with a recommendation on what actions to take.
   
Despite the objections to the French tax proposal however, the statement said the United States will continue to work with other advanced economies to address the conundrum of how to tax tech companies.
   
The Group of 20 has tasked the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with finding a fix in the international tax system that has allowed some internet heavyweights to take advantage of low-tax jurisdictions in places like Ireland and pay next to nothing in other countries where they make huge profits.
   
The Computer & Communications Industry Association on Wednesday applauded the US Trade Representative's move, saying the tax would retroactively require US internet giants operating in France to turn over a percentage of their revenues from the beginning of this year and violates international trade commitments.
   
“This is a critical step toward preventing protectionist taxes on global trade,” CCIA official Matt Schruers said in a statement.
   
“CCIA encourages France to lead the effort toward more ambitious global tax reform, instead of the discriminatory national tax measures that harm global trade.”
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