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Macron defends ‘importance’ of Russia nuclear weapons treaty in call with Trump

French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the importance of a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty during a phone call with Donald Trump, his office said Monday, after the US president announced he was pulling out of the deal.

Macron defends 'importance' of Russia nuclear weapons treaty in call with Trump
Photo: AFP
“The president noted the importance of this treaty, in particular for European security and our strategic stability,” Macron's office said of the call between the two leaders on Sunday.
   
Trump said over the weekend that the US would exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, which has been in effect with Russia since 1987.
 
He accuses Moscow of violating the agreement which curbed an arms race between the two countries, defusing a crisis over nuclear-tipped Soviet missiles targeting Western capitals.
   
Russia in turn claims that Washington has not upheld its end of the deal.
   
US national security advisor John Bolton was to meet with Russian officials for two days of talks starting Monday, a visit announced before Trump's statement on Saturday.
   
Russia has denounced Trump's move, the latest to strain ties between the two countries.
   
The disputes comes ahead of what is expected to be a second summit between Trump and Putin this year, though no date has yet been set.
   
The Trump administration has complained specifically about Moscow's deployment of Novator 9M729 missiles, which Washington says fall under the INF's ban on missiles that can travel distances of 310 to 3,400 miles (500 to 5,500 kilometres).
   

Member comments

  1. Trump the human wrecking ball continues the path to WW 3. Thanks M. Macron for at least making the effort to convince our sad excuse for president to stay in the treaty.

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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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