US begins investigation of France’s planned tax on tech giants

US President Donald Trump ordered an inquiry on Wednesday into France’s proposed “digital services tax,” as he feels their European counterparts are unfairly targeting American tech giants.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said in a statement: “The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies.”

The planned 3% tax on the annual revenues of firms providing services to French consumers will only apply to significant companies, “where US firms are global leaders,” the USTR said.

The French government has denied it is singling out the US companies.

Lighthizer confirmed the inquiry was ordered by the president, who has not shied away from being critical of European fines imposed on US firms, such as Apple.

jsi/sms (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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