USA promises to introduce 100% duty on a number of French goods
Washington does not agree with the taxes that Paris has imposed on a number of American companies
The US government said it could impose punitive duties of up to 100% on imported French champagne, bags, cheese and other goods worth $ 2.4 billion after Washington concluded that a new tax on digital services in France may harm U.S. tech companies.
The Office of the US President’s Representative to International Trade Talks said its investigation showed that the imposed French tax is “incompatible with the principles of international tax policy and is unusually burdensome for US companies,” including Google Alphabet, Facebook, Apple and Amazon..
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US government is also considering whether to launch similar investigations into digital services taxes in Austria, Italy and Turkey..
“The office is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states that unfairly targets US companies, either through taxes on digital services, or other efforts targeting leading US digital service companies.”.
The US trade agency said it plans to collect public comment on the proposed tariff list by January 14, as well as hold public hearings on January 7. Effective date of proposed 100% duty has not yet been specified.
The list may include some products that were previously exempted from 25% of duties imposed by the United States on controversial subsidies to the aircraft industry, including sparkling wines, bags and makeup – items that would hit French luxury goods giant LVMH and manufacturer hard. L’Oreal cosmetics.
U.S. Trade Agency findings received endorsement from U.S. lawmakers and U.S. technology groups.
“The French tax on digital services is unreasonable, protectionist and discriminatory,” Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Weeden, Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a joint statement..
A spokesman for the French embassy in Washington is not yet available for comment.
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