FILE PHOTO: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a information convention in Boulogne-Billancourt, close to Paris, France, November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
PARIS (Reuters) – France and the European Union are ready to fight back over the newest U.S. tariff threats on French merchandise, French authorities ministers mentioned on Tuesday.
On Monday, the U.S. authorities mentioned it might slap punitive duties of up to 100% on $2.four billion of imports from France of champagne, purses, cheese and different merchandise, after concluding that France’s new digital providers tax would hurt U.S. tech corporations.
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire described the U.S. proposals as “unacceptable”. “In case of new American sanctions, the European Union would be ready to riposte,” Le Maire instructed Radio Classique.
French junior economic system minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher instructed Sud Radio that France can be “pugnacious” in its dealings with the U.S. on the matter, and that France wouldn’t back down on its digital tax plans.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s workplace had mentioned on Monday that its “Section 301” investigation discovered that the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy”.
It mentioned it discovered the French tax proposal was “unusually burdensome for affected U.S. companies,” together with Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).
France’s three% levy applies to income from digital providers earned by companies with greater than 25 million euros ($27.86 million) in French income and 750 million euros ($830 million) worldwide.
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Andrew Heavens