France is threatening to retaliate after the Trump administration late Monday proposed tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion of French products.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire characterized the U.S. tariffs as “unacceptable,” according to multiple reports.
“In case of new American sanctions, the European Union would be ready to retaliate,” Le Maire told Radio Classique, according to Reuters.
“We are not targeting any country,” he later said at a press conference.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Monday said that France’s digital services tax discriminates against U.S. firms while proposing the tariffs on $2.4 billion of French products.
“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,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
French President Emmanuel Macron signed legislation earlier this year placing a 3 percent tax on major companies’ revenues from digital services.
The USTR determined in report issued Monday following an investigation that France’s tax was meant to discriminate against U.S. tech firms.
Le Maire, however, defended France’s tax, saying it was aimed at “establishing tax justice,” according to The Associated Press.
“If (the world) wants solid tax revenue in the 21st century, we have to be able to tax the digital economy,” he said. “This French taxation is not directed at any country, or against any company.”