U.S. mulls response to France's digital tax

U.S. mulls response to France's digital tax”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative charged Monday that France's new digital services tax discriminates against U.S. companies.

While insisting that a trade war is "not in anyone's interest", Le Maire said France talked this week with the European Commission about EU-wide retaliatory measures if Washington follows through with the tariffs next month.

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

France's 3% levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by firms with more than 25 million euros ($27.86 million) in French revenue and 750 million euros (644 million pounds) worldwide.

He later told a press conference: "We are not targeting any country".

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.

It has been claimed by many countries across the world that tech giants, such as Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG), Netflix (NFLX), Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT), are paying a relatively small amount of tax to the countries it makes sales in.

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

The USTR is accepting public comment until January 6, 2020, with a public hearing to be held on January 7. The European Commission did not immediately react to the U.S. trade threat. It adds that it is still considering whether to go ahead with the new tariffs.

From the two leaders' early bone-crunching handshake to the U.S. 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.

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