France is ready to challenge US threats of punitive tariffs at the World Trade Organization, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. The US threatened to introduce punitive tariffs in response to the so-called “Google tax” introduced by France, Italy, and the UK. A final US decision on tariffs will be taken on January 14.

Among the French products the US threatens to target are Champagne, handbags, and cheese.

The French 3% tax applies to digital services earned by firms with more than €25m national in France and €750m worldwide. The Italian tax introduces a tax to companies with €5,5m national revenue.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office says that the French tax is “unusually burdensome for affected U.S. companies” such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says Austria, Italy and Turkey are under a similar investigation for their own version of a digital tax.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/google-tax-could-trigger-new-eu-us-wto-dispute/

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