WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) – In an unusual move that threatens to worsen trade tensions with Europe, the Trump administration said it will investigate whether a proposed French tax on tech companies discriminates against US business, a step that could lead Washington to impose trade penalties. The 301 investigation – the same type of probe that led the US to slap tariffs on China last year – is a rare tool for Washington to use against a close ally, underscoring the Trump administration’s intent to continue playing tough on trade. The investigation illustrates growing alarm among US officials and industry executives about the prospect of new taxes on technology giants spreading beyond France. A number of other countries are considering similar levies amid the belief that wealthy US tech giants aren’t paying enough tax worldwide. “The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement Wednesday (July 10) as his office announced the probe. “The President has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts… Read full this story
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