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US vows 100% tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags over digital tax

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US vows 100% tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags over digital tax

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French President Emmanuel Macron raises his glass in a toast to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (no photo) during a dinner honoring Macron at Sydney's Sydney Opera House on May 1, 2018 .

Ludovic Marin AFP Getty Images

The US government said on Monday it could set punitive taxes of up to 100% on $ 2.4 billion in imports of French champagne, bags, cheese and other products, after concluding that France's new digital services tax would hurt US technology companies.

The US Trade Representative's office said his investigation in "Section 301" concluded that the French tax was "inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy and is unusually burdensome to affected US companies," including Google, Facebook, Apple. and Amazon.com from Alphabet.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US government is also exploring whether to open similar investigations into digital services taxes in Austria, Italy and Turkey.

"The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states, which unfairly hits US companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts directed at the top US digital services companies."

The commercial agency said it will collect public comments on its proposed tariff list by January 14 and hold a public hearing on January 7. You have not specified an effective date for the 100% proposed taxes.

The list targets some products that have been spared from 25% US tariffs on disputed aircraft subsidies, including sparkling wines, bags and make-up preparations – products that would hit French luxury giant LVMH and the maker of L'Oreal cosmetics.

The findings were favored by US lawmakers and US technology industry groups.

"The French digital services tax is irrational, protectionist and discriminatory," Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden, the top Republicans and Democrats, respectively, told the Senate Finance Committee in a joint statement.

A spokeswoman for the French embassy in Washington could not be reached immediately for comment.

. (tagsToTranslate) Asia Economy (t) Policy (t) Amazon.com Inc (t) Apple Inc (t) Facebook (t) Alphabet Class A (t) L & # x27; Oreal SA (t) LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (t) Business News

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