USA threatens tariffs on French goods over digital tax

Marco Green
December 3, 2019

The US Trade Representative said its investigation found that the French tax was "inconsistent with prevailing principles of worldwide tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies", including Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

"The United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on U.S. companies", Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said Monday.

The Office of the US Trade Representative says France's new digital services tax discriminates against US companies and says that the tariffs could reach 100%.

The agency will accept public comment on the plan until January 6 and hold a hearing on January 7.

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

Sparkling wines had been left off that list of tariffs but are a target this time around, along with handbags, porcelain, cheeses, yoghurt and other French products.

The US has proposed a series of tariffs on some French products following an investigation into France's recently passed digital taxation laws. The two struck a compromise in August at a G7 summit in France that would refund USA firms the difference between the French tax and a new mechanism being drawn up through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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