U.S. warns of tariffs on $2.4B in French imports

The Trump administration is proposing tariffs on up to $2.4 billion worth of French imports — from Roquefort cheese to sparkling wine to handbags — in retaliation for France’s tax on American tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said France’s new “digital services tax” discriminates against U.S. companies and that the tariffs could reach 100%. The agency will accept public comment on the plan through January 6 and hold a hearing January 7.

The French tax is designed to prevent tech companies from dodging taxes by putting headquarters in low-tax European countries. It would impose a 3% annual levy on French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than €750 million ($830 million) and French revenue exceeding €25 million ($27.6 million), levels that would easily apply to fast-growing U.S. tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

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