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Tue, 03 Dec 2019 12:51 - Updated Tue, 03 Dec 2019 12:51

France says primed to retaliate with EU over U.S. tariff threat against Paris

PARIS- France and the European Union are ready to retaliate if U.S. President Donald Trump acts on a threat to impose duties of up to 100% on $2.4 billion in imports of champagne, handbags and other French products, the French government said on Tuesday.

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The threat of punitive tariffs came after a U.S. government investigation found France’s new digital services tax would harm U.S. technology companies, and will intensify a festering trade dispute between Europe and the United States.

Speaking in London on Tuesday morning ahead of a NATO alliance summit, Trump said he would not allow France to take advantage of American companies and that the European Union treated the United States very unfairly on trade.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire branded the U.S. threat unacceptable and said the French tax did not discriminate against American companies.

“In case of new American sanctions, the European Union would be ready to retaliate,” Le Maire told Radio Classique.

He later told a press conference: “We are not targeting any country.”

France’s 3% levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by companies with more than 25 million euros ($27.86 million) of revenues from France and 750 million euros ($8

30 million) worldwide.

An investigation by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office found the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy”.REUTERS.

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