This week’s G7 summit in Biarritz, France, has been jam-packed with all the amateur-dramatics we’ve come to expect from America’s CEO—from an insistence that Vladimir Putin be allowed back to the negotiating table, to a baffling exchange in which Donald Trump suggested North Korean missile launches are, in fact, ok and legal.
Away from the bluster, though, the summit has thrown up a couple of very important bits of tech news. First was the announcement that French premier Emmanuel Macron and Trump reached a deal to ditch a law that would tax Silicon Valley’s tech giants—a move to which the U.S. President announced he would place a tariff on French wine (which he doesn’t drink, but believes American plonk to be better nonetheless).
The law would have imposed a three percent revenue tax on the likes of Facebook and Google, amid ongoing European cries the firms aren’t paying their way. Revenues above $845 million and $28m in France were enough to fall under the new law, whose list would have also included German, British and Chinese companies. Upon revealing the law would no longer apply, Trump demurred on his proposed wine toll, telling Macron that first lady Melania “loved your French wine.”
Eager to strike up a populist pairing with British prime minister Boris Johnson, Trump sought out the new Tory leader for sideline talks on Chinese telco Huawei, whose global 5G network rollout has divided opinion far beyond Biarritz.
Trump, keen to cement the so-called ‘special relationship’ between the two nations ahead of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union this October, has made security concerns over Huawei a principle talking point. The U.K.’s digital minister Nicky Morgan said today that Parliament would make a decision on the Shenzhen firm’s infrastructure proposal by this “autumn” (fall).
“We’ve got to make sure that this is going to be a decision for the long term, making sure that we keep all our networks secure,” Morgan told BBC radio.