USA threatens 100% tariffs on certain French goods

Trump and Macron are

And it announced it was readying higher import taxes on roughly $2.4bn worth of French goods, including Champagne and Roquefort cheese, in retaliation for a digital services tax.

The US tariffs and the French tax are likely to be a priority during a meeting between Trump and Macron on the sidelines of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation conference in London on Tuesday.

The USTR has scheduled public hearings on the proposal to impose "duties of up to 100 percent on certain French products" and the possibility of "imposing fees or restrictions on French services". It has always been a point of contention between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, who initially enjoyed a relatively drama-free relationship.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the us tariff threat is "simply unacceptable".

U.S. President Donald Trump, meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in London Tuesday, told reporters, "France is not doing well economically at all".

"France just put a digital tax on our great American technology companies. It's not going to be France".

"I'm not going to let people take advantage of American companies", President Trump was quoted as saying today.

Asked if the NHS should be on the table in trade talks, Mr Trump said: "No, not at all, I have nothing to do with it".

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But if US President Donald Trump refuses to find an amicable solution and slap the tariffs against France anyway, "we won't have any other choice but to retaliate at the European Union level".

"The French digital services tax is unreasonable, protectionist and discriminatory", Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden, the top Republican and Democrat, respectively, on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a joint statement. A digital taxation project at the global level is on the table of the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development]. But Washington says that United States companies have been singled out.

The Office of the US Trade Representative says France's new digital services tax discriminates against US companies and says that the tariffs could reach 100%. It would impose a 3% annual levy on French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than €750m ($830m) and French revenue exceeding €25m ($27.7m).

Governments, including Washington, are frustrated that big digital companies can book earnings in low-tax countries such as Ireland regardless of where the end client is.

This could affect the EU's ability to respond in a united fashion, with smaller states where the companies have their headquarters less enthusiastic about the tax.

French sparkling wine, yoghurt and Roquefort cheese are on the latest list of goods that could be targeted as soon as mid-January, after a report from the United States trade representative's office found the digital tax penalises American tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

With a flurry of trade threats across three continents in the span of 24 hours, President Donald Trump reminded financial markets that he's comfortable heading into an election year using tariffs as his main source of worldwide economic leverage.

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