Trump Administration Threatens 100% Tariffs on $2.4 Billion of French Goods

by | Dec 3, 2019 | Headline News | 5 comments

Donald Trump really loves his tariffs! The Trump administration is now threatening to add 100% tariffs to $2.4 billion worth of French goods, including cheese. This tariff is retaliation against France’s new tax on digital services.

While France’s tax on digital services simply amounts to more theft, Trump’s retaliation is not all that different.  In a statement, the United States Trade Representative’s office said the French law “discriminates against U.S. companies” including Alphabet’s Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., and Inc.

“The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states, which unfairly targets U.S. companies,” Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement, adding that Austria, Italy, and Turkey could also be subject to retaliation for their digital services taxes. The USTR said it is seeking public comment and will hold a public hearing in early January regarding the proposed action, according to a report by Market Watch

The French law levies a 3% tax on the revenues—not profits—that large tech firms make there when selling advertising or operating online marketplaces, according to Forbes. Again, U.S. firms are not explicitly targeted, even though the size threshold makes that the effective result: global revenues of at least €750 million ($830 million) and French “qualifying revenues” of at least €25 million.

“These companies are already subject to tax in the United States and in other countries where they add economic value,” said Joe Kennedy, a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a U.S. tech lobbying group. “The decision to tax revenues rather than profits skirts France’s tax treaties with the United States and raises the prospect of double taxation. The imposition of what is essentially a fixed tax on the market value of an imported good amounts to an illegal tariff.”

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    1. Rock Roller

      Mon dieu !

    2. David Oldham

      “While France’s tax on digital services simply amounts to more theft, Trump’s retaliation is not all that different.”

      YOU ARE A MORON! Tariffs are not theft especially here. Stupid stupid statement.

    3. Montana Guy

      “American companies”?
      Proud to be an American! Oorah! Let’s hear it now, ‘Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie & Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.’

    4. Clown World

      The French fake Robinhood rip-off does not make their telecoms more competitive.

      The American fake Robinhood rip-off does not make your wine and cheese more competitive.

      This money, taken so arbitrarily, does not restore those industries, so is not protectionist.

      Also, there is no natural law which says that corporate welfare / state capitalism is in a different moral category than just-plain Communism.

      So, your industry is not necessarily entitled to any bail-outs, which the protectionism is supposed to cover.

    5. Clown World

      If anyone sincerely believes in a wine, cheese, and data problem, I would like to see your solution, independent of my tax dollars or other forcible participation.

      Otherwise, I believe that these industries are intended as financial conveyances, at the heart of it.

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