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US and France at War Over Food Tariffs

France and the United States are engaged in another food war, and this time it's not over fries. The French government was infuriated by the legacy that President George W. Bush implemented right before leaving office: enacting a colossal tax on France's prized Roquefort cheese. While he imposed a 100 percent import duty on many products from the European Union, the former US President singled out the pungent blue cheese for a 300 percent tariff. As a result, Americans will soon be unable to buy Roquefort. In a letter to newly inaugurated President Barack Obama, French parliament member Philippe Folliot called for the removal of the steep duty. If the high tariff doesn't change, he said, there may be unfortunate consequences. "Symbol versus symbol," he said. "Since the United States has decided to surtax one of the most ancient (cheese) appellations, I think that the French government, with the European Union, must think about a heavy specific tax on imports of Coca-Cola concentrates produced in the US."

I hope Obama reconsiders the tax on Roquefort, so the US and France can return to more diplomatic times. Americans can still enjoy their Roquefort and the French can drink all the Coke they want.

What do you think — does it seem fair for France to tax the US in retaliation for a large tariff on Roquefort?


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