France faces U.S. tariff threat, plans to bring it to WTO

09.12.2019 - Petr Mazaylo
France faces U.S. tariff threat, plans to bring it to WTO

The Finance Minister said on Sunday that France will challenge the U.S. tariff threat by taking it to the World Trade Organization. The tariff was threatened to be imposed over champagne and other French products as announced by President Donald Trump.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO because the national tax on digital companies touches U.S. companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” said Bruno Le Maire, finance minister.

France has been complaining for the longest time about American digital firms underpaying tax on revenues earned in the country.

France imposed a 3% levy on revenue from the digital companies earned in the country by companies with over 25 million euros in French revenue and 750 million euros worldwide.

This prompted the U.S. to threaten to impose tariffs on imports of French champagne, cheese and luxury handbags as a retaliatory act. France already announced it is ready to fight back if the U.S. threat becomes a reality.

“If there is an agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at the OECD level, we will restart talks at the EU level,” said Le Maire.


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