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France willing to take Trump to WTO over proposed tariffs

December 10, 2019

 

 

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said the country was willing to let the World Trade Organization decide on the United States' proposed sanctions against French products.

The tariffs would be in retaliation over France's digital services tax. US President Donald Trump has said the tax unfairly hits American technology companies.


The US trade representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer concluded earlier this week that the US would take action against such taxes and announced a list of French products they planned to tax.

The list includes yoghurt, Roquefort, Gouda, champagne, makeup, handbags, and kitchen items.

The products total roughly €2.17 billion.

"We are ready to go all the way to an international court, meaning the World Trade Organization," finance minister Le Maire told France 3.


He said the proposed sanctions had "no legal basis" since the digital services tax is not "discriminatory" and affects French, Chinese and European companies as well.

The digital tax - known as Gafa for Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple - imposes a 3% levy on companies' digital turnover (advertising and commissions) in France and concerns companies that make at least €750 million globally and €25 million in France.

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