(Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on technology companies, a probe that could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions.
“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the investigation.
The move gives Lighthizer up to a year to investigate if France’s digital-tax plan would hurt U.S. technology companies.
The “Section 301” investigation will determine if the levy poses an unfair trade practice. Prior investigations have covered Chinese trade practices and European Union subsidies on large commercial aircraft.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in March that a 3% tax on…