President Trump has ordered an investigation into French plans to heavily tax big tech corporations like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, according to Business Insider. The investigation was announced by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and will be called the Section 301 investigation.
The investigation could result in retaliatory tariffs by the US which could potentially start a new trade war. France’s Senate approved a digital-services tax on Thursday which requires tech firms with more than $845 million in revenue to pay a 3% tax on French sales.
The Department of Commerce says that they believe France is “unfairly targeting the tax” on US companies. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says that the added $563 million in tax revenue from these tech firms would be justice for the complex ways that they avoid paying high taxes in France right now.
"The United States is very concerned that the digital-services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies," Lighthizer said Wednesday.
If Lighthizer’s office finds that US companies are being unfairly targeted then they have the authority to impose tariffs on France under the trade act.
The investigation is one in a long list of accusations and tariffs that Trump has imposed on other countries with unfair trade regulations.