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Trump vows to hit back against French ‘digital tax’

US President Donald Trump has promised to take “substantial reciprocal action” against a proposed French “digital tax” if it seeks to target any American technology firm.

The president took to Twitter on Friday afternoon with a threat of retaliation, following the recent passage of a law in France which would impose a new three-percent tax on tech firms such as Facebook and Amazon.

Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump: France just put a digital tax on our great American technology companies. If anybody taxes them, it should be their home Country, the USA. We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly. I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!
5:32 PM - Jul 26, 2019

President Trump insisted that if any country should tax American tech firms, “it should be their home Country, the USA.” He then took a potshot at his French counterpart and one-time best pal Emmanuel Macron, calling out his “foolishness” and then denigrating one of France’s most cherished exports.

“I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!” Trump tweeted.
The new tax, signed into law on Wednesday, will affect companies with at least $834 million (€750 million) in global revenues, or those that earned over $27 million (€25 million) from “digital activities,” such as advertising, in France.

After the passage of the bill earlier this week, Trump warned the tax “unfairly targets American companies,” and ordered an investigation into the new measure, which, according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, will determine whether it “is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere on Friday announced the administration was “looking at all policy tools”available to counter the new tax.

Paris responded to Trump’s tweet, with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying they would like to come to an agreement with Washington, but in absence of one “France intends to implement its national decisions.”

“The general taxation of digital activities is a problem that concerns us all,” Le Maire said, adding that France wants to reach consensus on that with all G7 members.


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