The US government has published a list of products from France on which it plans to collect 25 percent in additional import duties.
With the trade barrier, the Trump administration wants to retaliate French plans for a “digitaks” because those American tech companies would hit disproportionately hard.
The products on the list, which included makeup, soap, and handbags, were worth $ 1.3 billion in French exports to the United States last year.
Import duties do not take effect immediately, but only in 180 days. In the meantime, the US hopes to reach an agreement with the French government.
France and many other countries are looking for ways to combat tax avoidance by major internet companies. It is often easy for those companies to pay little or no tax in the countries where they get the most revenue and profit because their head offices are located elsewhere.
National governments, therefore, aim for taxes on the turnover or profit that tech companies have achieved within national borders.
Such a digitaks is an eyesore to Trump. According to him, the taxes would mainly hit the major American tech groups such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. France is already well advanced with the plans but does not yet have digitaks.