France’s hopes rise as US freezes tariffs on tech tax

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The French government breathed a sigh of relief on Friday after the United States indefinitely delayed tariffs on cosmetics and other French products

PARIS – The French government breathed a sigh of relief on Friday after the United States indefinitely postponed tariffs on French cosmetics and other products designed as retaliation for a French tax on tech giants.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said his government “takes note” of the US decision and called for a global agreement on the taxation of online behemoths like Google and Amazon.

These are several trade disputes that have damaged transatlantic relations in recent years. In a Friday statement to The Associated Press, Le Maire called for “a comprehensive settlement of trade disagreements between the United States and Europe, which are causing everyone to lose, especially in this time of crisis.”

While France has led the charge on technology taxes, several other countries have introduced similar measures that worry the United States, including Britain, India, Turkey and Brazil.

Negotiations on a global technology tax deal at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development were stalled after the Trump administration pulled out last summer. France and others hope the Biden administration will be more willing to strike a deal.

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This story was first published on January 8, 2021. It was updated on January 13, 2021 to correct products that would have been affected by the US tariffs. The US trade representative decided in 2020 to remove wine from the list of products subject to tariffs.

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