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 LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House 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 GrassleyRosenstein steps back into GOP crosshairs Is Trump encouraging the world's use of national security as stealth protectionism? Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse Republican offers bill to create 'return to work bonus' On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks 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.