France adopts tax on tech giants despite Trump administration investigation

France adopts tax on tech giants despite Trump administration investigation
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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.

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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 LighthizerPelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House On 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 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 GrassleySenate aides met with tax return whistleblower: report Booker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate aides met with tax return whistleblower: report Democratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream Booker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices 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.