New Tariffs or Other Trade Restrictions on France

Internet giants such as Facebook, Google or Apple will in future pay a digital tax in France. The Trump government wants to take the action now under the microscope – and considers countermeasures.

In view of the planned introduction of a national digital tax in France, the US government is considering possible countermeasures. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday (local time) in Washington that he had initiated an investigation into what impact digital taxation would have on US trade at the direction of President Donald Trump. Depending on the outcome, this investigation could potentially result in tariffs or other trade restrictions on France.

Washington considers the planned French tax discriminatory against multinationals based in the US. Lighthizer said the US was very concerned that such a levy would unfairly hit American companies.

The planned tax in France targets internationally active Internet companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. As a result, companies with annual digital sales of at least 750 million euros and more than 25 million euros in France are affected. They are to pay three percent taxes on, among other things, online advertising revenues. The French National Assembly has already voted in favor of the legislative plans, with the French Senate to vote on Thursday.