Trump orders investigation into French digital tax
By Emily Mee, news reporter
President Donald Trump has ordered an investigation into France's proposed tax on technology companies.
The US said it was "very concerned" by the planned digital service tax, a move which could see the States retaliate by imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions.
In a statement announcing the investigation, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said there were concerns the tax "unfairly targets American companies".
The proposed 3% tax on French revenue of large internet companies is expected to pass the French Senate and could yield €500m (£450m) a year.
It would target companies with at least €750m (£675m) in annual revenues and apply to revenue from digital business, such as online advertising.
Companies including Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook would likely be affected.
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement "services covered are ones where US firms are global leaders.
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"The structure of the proposed new tax as well as statements by officials suggest that France is unfairly targeting the tax at certain US-based technology companies."
Mr Lighthizer said the US president had directed the investigation find out whether the tax is "discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce".
Previous investigations by the US have included Chinese trade practices and EU subsidies on large commercial aircraft.
The tax would hit some 30 companies, many of which are American, but also Chinese, German, Spanish and British companies.
One French firm and several firms with French origins that have been taken over by foreign companies will also be included iRead More – Source