France to seek immediate EU riposte if U.S. punishes French digital tax

Flags of France and European Union flutter above the French Consulate in central Istanbul
FILE PHOTO: Flags of France and European Union flutter above the French Consulate in central Istanbul, Turkey, July 13, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

December 1, 2020

PARIS (Reuters) – France will immediately seek EU retaliation if Washington goes ahead in January with planned trade sanctions over a French tax on digital services, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

The Trump administration announced additional duties of 25% on French cosmetics, handbags and other imports valued at $1.3 billion in response to France’s digital services tax, but said it would hold off on implementing the move until January.

“If there are American sanctions against the French decision, which … is the application of French law, we will immediately seek a riposte at the European level,” Le Maire told journalists after a meeting with EU counterparts about digital services taxation.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Andrew Heavens)