France threatens EU retaliation over US wine tariff plan


PARIS (AP) – France’s finance minister is threatening a “strong European riposte” if the Trump administration follows through on a proposal to hit French wine, cheese, handbags and other products with tariffs of up to 100%.

The U.S. Trade Representative proposed the tariffs Monday in retaliation for a French tax on tech giants including Google, Amazon and Facebook.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday on Radio Classique that the U.S. tariff threat is “simply unacceptable.” He said France has talked with the European Commission about EU-wide retaliatory measures.

He says the French tech tax is not discriminatory against the U.S. because it targets European and Chinese companies, too. France wants digital companies to pay their fair share of taxes in countries where they make money, and is pushing for an international agreement on the issue.

FILE – In this Jan. 21, 2009, file photo, Bernard Roques, a refiner of Societe company, smells a Roquefort cheese as they mature in a cellar in Roquefort, southwestern France. The Trump administration is proposing tariffs on up to $2.4 billion worth of French imports, from Roquefort cheese to handbags, retaliation for France’s tax on American tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says France’s new digital services tax discriminates against U.S. companies and says that the tariffs could reach 100%.(AP Photo/Bob Edme, File)