France adopts tax on tech giants despite Trump administration investigation

France adopts tax on tech giants despite Trump administration investigation
© Getty

The French parliament on Thursday adopted a tax on revenue of internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite the Trump administration announcing an investigation into whether it is discriminatory, The Associated Press reported.

The legislation will impose a 3 percent tax on the annual revenues of technology companies that make at least 750 euros annually and provide services to users in the country, which includes several American giants.

ADVERTISEMENT

The French Senate estimated that the tax could bring in 400 million euros this year and 650 million in 2020, according to the AP.

United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE on Wednesday announced an investigation to "determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce."

The investigation could serve as a precursor to the implementation of tariffs or other trade measures against France.

The USTR's move received bipartisan praise. Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Trump: 'Great to see' Pelosi plan to lower drug prices Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Microsoft to provide free updates for voting systems running Windows 7 through 2020 Interior watchdog investigating political appointees' review of FOIA requests MORE (D-Ore.) said the French policy "unfairly targets American companies in a way that will cost U.S. jobs and harm American workers."

French officials, however, brushed off the potential threat on Thursday.

“France is a sovereign state, it decides its fiscal provisions in a sovereign manner, and it will continue to decide its tax decisions in a sovereign manner,” Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, said in front of the Senate, according to the AP.

Allies needed to settle differences “without using threats," he added.