The decision by the office of the US Trade Representative marks a setback for efforts to stop a conflict over a digital services tax.
France’s government said the European Union would retaliate if the US follows through on a threat to hit about $2.4 billion of French products with tariffs over a dispute concerning how large tech companies are taxed.
The decision by the office of the US Trade Representative marks a setback for efforts to stop a conflict over a digital services tax. The levy, which the USTR says “discriminates against US companies,” would hit the revenues of large tech companies, including Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
The American tariffs in response could target sparkling wine, cheeses, handbags and makeup.
“It’s not worthy of an ally, and it’s not the behavior we expect from the US toward one of its main allies, France, and more generally, Europe,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Radio Classique on Tuesday.“If there were new US sanctions, the EU would be ready to retaliate.”