France is willing to go to the World Trade Organization, as a response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods, over a French tax on tech companies, the country’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said on 8 December.
“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches U.S. companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory”, Le Maire said.
Earlier this year, worried about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France, the country applied a digital services tax, that, according to Trump, is unfair for US tech companies.
Trump, therefore, is threatening to retaliate with tariffs on imports of French champagne, cheeses and luxury handbags. However, France and the European Union say they are ready to impose tariffs as well.
“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.
Le Maire added that the digital services tax also affects French, Chinese and European companies, and is therefore, not “discriminatory”.