FILE PHOTO: A cyclist passes the U.S. and French flags flying over the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses a majority of offices for White House staff, in Washington February 10, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Monday said it could slap additional duties of up to 100% on $2.4 billion in French imports of Champagne, handbags, cheese and other products, after concluding that a new French digital services tax would harm U.S. tech companies.
The U.S. Trade Representative said its investigation found that the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected U.S. companies”, including Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O). U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. government was also exploring whether to open similar investigations into the digital services taxes of Austria, Italy, and Turkey.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal And David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler