The European Union stands prepared to "hit back hard" against any new USA tariffs aimed at French exports, the country's economy and finance minister said Tuesday. The European Commission did not immediately react to the United States trade threat.
As we all know that US President Donald Trump has chose to tax French products like Champagne, Wine, Roquefort, Cheese, make up, products, homeware etc.
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"Trump weighed in today during a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in London, saying: "[France is] starting to tax other people's products so therefore we're going to tax them. "So it's either going to work out, or we'll work out some mutually beneficial tax".
France has long argued that taxes should be based on digital activity, not just where firms have their headquarters. This could act as a roadblock in the OECD's broad effort to have 135 countries agree on how to tax multinational corporations and prevent them from shifting profits to tax havens. In total, some thirty companies are involved. Having used the World Trade Organization's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism alone in recent times, the US, under the Trump administration, has brought the 301 back into use, launching a 2017 probe against China.
Cedric O, France's secretary of state for the digital economy, told AFP in Washington that France believed there was still time to stave off the threat of tariffs.
"We are working hard with our partners to achieve that and are encouraged by the progress being made", he said.
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United States President Donald Trump has been criticizing France for its plans to implement a digital tax, which is likely to hit American tech companies. He also added that they have huge revenues in the country. But Washington says that U.S. companies have been singled out.
The investigation by the US Trade Representative's office found 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 Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
In London for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged a tight-gripped handshake before both said they hoped they could smooth out their differences over the digital services tax.
"We will not give up on taxation" of digital firms, the official said.
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The dispute risks opening another front for the United States in a succession of trade disputes. "Because if anyone's going to take advantage of the American companies, it's going to be us".