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France vows to retaliate against latest Trump tariffs on wine and cheese


Donald Trump

France vows to retaliate against latest Trump tariffs on wine and cheese

Daniel Jayo/Getty ImagesFrance on Monday warned that it would retaliate if the US followed through with a proposal to slap tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of its products. The Trump administration late last year threatened to levy tariffs of up to 100% on handbags, wine, and other products after France passed a tax on digital…

France vows to retaliate against latest Trump tariffs on wine and cheese

Emmanuel Macron Donald TrumpDaniel Jayo/Getty Images

  • France on Monday warned that it would retaliate if the US followed through with a proposal to slap tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of its products.
  • The Trump administration late last year threatened to levy tariffs of up to 100% on handbags, wine, and other products after France passed a tax on digital services in July.
  • The US has separately prepared to broaden tariffs against the European Union as part of a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage here.

France on Monday warned that it would retaliate if the US followed through with a proposal to slap tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of its products, the latest escalation in a battle over a new tax on technology companies.

In a radio interview, France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said France would swiftly respond to any US escalation and involve the World Trade Organization.

The Trump administration late last year threatened to levy tariffs of up to 100% on handbags, wine, and other products after France passed a tax on digital services in July. Other European countries have separately announced plans to crack down on big tech companies, saying they avoid taxes by building subsidiaries in other countries.

“If the Americans decide to go ahead and impose sanctions against the digital tax … we would retaliate,” Le Maire told France Inter. “If there were to be sanctions, and it is a possibility that we will take sanctions, we would immediately contact the WTO.”

The tax applies to companies with global revenue of at least €750 million and digital sales of at least €25 million in France.

The US found in a government investigation last year that the policy “discriminates against US companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies.”

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In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week, Le Maire said the European Union could collectively retaliate against the move.

“If the US were to decide to impose trade sanctions against the EU over the French Digital Services Tax, it would deeply and durably affect the transatlantic relationship at a time when we need to stand united,” Le Maire wrote.

The US has separately prepared to broaden tariffs against the European Union as part of a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies.

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