The threat of punitive tariffs came after a U.S. government investigation found France's new digital services tax would harm USA technology companies, and will intensify a festering trade dispute between Europe and the United States.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative charged Monday that France's new digital services tax discriminates against U.S. companies.
PARIS (AP) - France is threatening a "strong European riposte" if the Trump administration follows through on a proposal to hit French cheese, Champagne, handbags and other products with tariffs - of up to 100%.
The agency will accept public comment on the plan until January 6 and hold a hearing on January 7.
"This is not the sort of behaviour one expects from the United States with respect to one of its main allies, France, and to Europe in general", Le Maire said. There are 63 tariffs suggested in total, with a trade value of around $2.4 billion.
Meanwhile, President Trump also said on Monday that the USA will restore tariffs on steel from Brazil and Argentina. "The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of European Union member states, which unfairly targets US companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading US digital services companies".
It said it found the French tax proposal "unusually burdensome for affected United States companies", including Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
"I'm not in love with those (tech) companies, but they're our companies", Trump said Tuesday ahead of a sure-to-be-tense meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in London.
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David DeCastro , another Steelers offensive lineman added: "I thought it was pretty stupid". I put on a jacket, I covered it up, I took a picture, that was simple as that.
Earlier this year, France voted in favor of a new tax on tech giants.
The French tax targets revenue instead of profits, which are often reported by tech giants in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland in a practice that has enraged governments.
"We respectfully urge the United States, France, and all participating governments to focus on a successful and lasting tax policy resolution" at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), she said in a statement.
He later told a press conference: "We are not targeting any country".
Le Maire said France talked this week with the European Commission about EU-wide retaliatory measures if Washington follows through with the tariffs next month.
Gruyere cheese, also spared from the USTR aircraft tariffs levied in October, featured prominently in the list of French products targeted for 100% duties, along with numerous other cheeses.
The threat of punitive tariffs came after a US government investigation found France's new digital services tax would harm USA technology companies, and will intensify a festering trade dispute between Europe and the United States.
France's 3% levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by firms with more than 25 million euros ($27.86 million) in French revenue and 750 million euros ($830 million) worldwide.