The U.S. government Monday stated it might hit punitive levies of as much as 100% on $2.4 billion on goods imported from France of Champagne, handbags, cheese, and different products, after finding that France’s new digital services tax would damage U.S. tech corporations.
The U.S. Commerce Representative’s office stated its “Section 301” research discovered that the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing rules of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected U.S. corporations,” including Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.com.
U.S. Trade Executive Robert Lighthizer mentioned the government was exploring whether to open similar inquiries into the digital services levies of Austria, Italy, and Turkey.
The U.S. trade company stated it would gather public comments by January 14 on its proposed tariff list in addition to the option of imposing charges or restrictions on French services, with a public hearing on January 7.
The list targets some products that had been exempted from 25% tariffs slapped by the U.S. over disputed European Union aircraft grants, along with sparkling wines, handbags and make-up products that will hit French luxury items titan LVMH and cosmetics maker L’Oreal
Gruyere cheese also exempted from the USTR aircraft tariffs imposed in October, featured prominently in the checklist of French products targeted for 100% tariffs, along with quite a few other cheeses.
The findings won favor from U.S. legislators and U.S. tech industry organizations, who have argued that the tax targets U.S companies.
Spokespeople for the French embassy and the EU delegation in Washington couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.