France to begin digital tax against Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.

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While the Trump administration investigates Google and other tech companies for potential anti-trust violations here in the US, the Trump administration has threatened retaliatory tariffs against French imports if France implements a tax on digital activities.

The digital tax law was passed by the French Parliament on July 11th and to tax Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (known as the “GAFA” companies). The 3% tax on digital services would generate 400 million euros in 2019 and expected to generate 650 million by 2022.

In response, the US Trade Representative has begun an investigation against France for unfairly targeting US-based companies and is now open for public comment before a public hearing on August 19th.

We may see new tariffs on the over 36 billion in French imports into the US starting in August. If you import any items from France and want to know how you may be impacted, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

France imposes 3% tax on US technology companies.

photo of eiffel tower

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On January 11th, the French Senate and National Assembly passed a 3% tax that will impact American technology firms such as Google and Facebook. In response, the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US Office of the Trade Representative will start their own investigation to determine whether the French bill is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts US commerce.

An investigation may result in retaliatory tariffs on French goods such as wine, cheese and perfume. In fact, Trump in the past has hinted at placing tariffs on French wine since France places higher tariffs on imports than the US does. CNBC reports France exported $3.6 billion in wine to the US in 2018, making America France’s largest export market.