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WASHINGTON -- The White House is opening an investigation into France's proposed tax on Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook -- a move that stands to lead to U.S. taxes on French imports.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expressed concern that the tax, expected to be passed today by the French Senate, "unfairly targets American companies."

Lighthizer's agency will investigate the tax under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 -- the same provision President Donald Trump's administration used last year to probe China's technology policies, leading to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The French digital-services tax would impose a 3% annual levy on French revenue of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than $844 million and French revenue exceeding $28 million.

France's lower house of parliament approved the pioneering tax last week.

The bill aims to stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax EU countries. Currently, the companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales, like France.

Business on 07/11/2019

Print Headline: U.S. to investigate France's tech tax

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