United States threatens 100pc tariffs on French goods over digital tax 'discrimination'

US threatens tariffs on French goods over digital tax

U.S. vows 100% tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags over digital tax

The US trade representative (USTR) said on Monday night, after completing an investigation, it found the French digital services tax unfairly discriminated against American technology companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

"USTR's decision today sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on U.S. companies", Mr Lighthizer said. He added the U.S. could investigate similar taxes by Austria, Italy and Turkey. His statement made no mention of proposed digital taxes in Canada or Britain.

The USTR is accepting public comment until January 6, 2020, with a public hearing to be held on January 7.

It did not specify an effective date for the proposed 100% duties.

The findings won favor from USA lawmakers and US tech industry groups.

A spokeswoman for the French embassy in Washington could not immediately be reached for comment.

As well as threatening new tariffs on a series of French imports, the USA administration said it would consider whether to impose "fees or restrictions" on French services.

"We will not give up on taxation" of digital firms, the official said. It would impose a 3% annual levy on French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than €750m ($830m) and French revenue exceeding €25m ($27.7m).

Latest News