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US imposes 25% tariffs on €1.1 billion worth of French goods

The Trump administration imposed 25% tariffs on $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion) worth of French goods on Friday, but will freeze the collection of the tax due to the coronavirus crisis.

The tariffs are being issued over France’s tax on large tech companies that the US says unfairly targets American companies.

The French law, named “Gafa” for Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, imposes a 3% tax on companies’ digital turnover (advertising and commissions) in France and concerns companies that make at least €750 million globally and €25 million in France.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in January that he had an “excellent discussion” with the US president and that they would “work together on a good agreement to avoid any escalation of tariffs.”

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire also said in January the country would delay collecting the tax.

Global discussions of a digital tax were subsequently delayed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development due to the pandemic.

The US tariffs will include cosmetics and handbags, according to an official statement obtained by AFP.

The additional tariffs are to be delayed until the end of the year due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

The tariffs will therefore not go into effect until January 2021.

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