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

Marco Green
December 3, 2019

"The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of European Union member states, which unfairly targets US companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading US digital services companies".

France and the European Union are ready to fight back over the latest USA tariff threats on French products, French government ministers said on Tuesday.

"In case of new American sanctions, the European Union would be ready to retaliate", Le Maire told Radio Classique.

"We can see that the United States is shifting into reverse", Le Maire said, reported AFP, adding that while the U.S. had expressed interest in an "international solution" from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Washington "now isn't sure it wants one". The tax imposes a 3% annual levy on French revenues of any digital company with yearly global sales worth more than 750 million euros ($830 million) and French revenue exceeding 25 million euros.

The US is considering raising tariffs on imports from France in retaliation for its tax on digital services.

It said the tax was "unusually burdensome" for United States companies including Alphabet's Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

Hermes was around 1.9pc lower, while LVMH and Kering fell 1.3pc and 1.2pc respectively.

"It's too risky to go into the luxury sector". The agency will accept public comment on the plan through 6 January and hold a hearing the following day. The European Commission did not immediately react to the United States trade threat.

However, the US Chamber of Commerce warned that the new set of tariffs "may elicit additional rounds of retaliatory measures that represent a substantial risk to US economic growth and job creation".

From the two leaders' early bone-crunching handshake to the USA president appearing to flick dandruff off the younger man's shoulder, Macron and Trump have had a testy relationship, at odds over the American's unilateralist approach to trade, climate change and Iran.

The Office of US Trade Representative released a list of the items that face tariffs at rates up to 100% - which include make-up, cheese, and handbags.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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