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France ready to take Trump tariff threat to WTO: minister

09
Dec '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
France is ready to approach an international court, notably the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to challenge President Donald Trump's threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on Internet firms, according to finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who said the tax affects US entities in the same way as European Union (EU) or French or Chinese ones.

The French tax is not discriminatory, global newswires quoted the minister as telling a French news channel.

US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France has been an old complain by Paris.

In July, the French government decided to impose a 3 per cent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the beginning of this year.

Washington has threatened to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French champagne, cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the European Union say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat.

France is willing to discuss a global digital tax with the United States at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for Internet companies, Le Maire said.

If there is no agreement at the OECD level, talks at the EU level will be restarted, he said, adding that EU commissioner for economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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