French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today that he hoped the French and U.S. governments would resolve their differences by Wednesday evening over the planned “digital tax”. Last July, the French parliament passed a tax law that would impose a 3% tax on the revenues of multinational technology companies in France, including US tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
The move has upset the US government, which in December threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 per cent on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products worth $2.4bn.
In January, Mr Le Maire warned the US that any retaliation for France’s new digital service tax could “deeply and lastingly” damage relations. “If the Americans decide to continue to impose sanctions on the digital tax … they will not be able to do so,” Le Maire said at the time. In this case, we will retaliate. ”
“We hope to reach a resolution by Wednesday,” Le Maire told the media today. He also said he would meet with U.S. officials at this week’s Davos forum. This year’s annual davos forum will be held in Davos, Switzerland, from 21 to 24 January.
Mr. LeMaier has previously said he has written to Robert Lightiser, the US trade negotiator, on the issue and will discuss the issue by phone with Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary.