The move was applauded by the Computer & Communications Industry Association which said the French law would retroactively require USA internet giants to turn over a percentage of their revenues from the start of 2019.
France's digital-services tax could be seen as a test case for other European countries to introduce similar tax regimes.
By choosing to go-it-alone, France set the stage for a country-by-country approach toward taxation of tech companies in Europe. Always eyeing a catchy slogan, he prefers to call his levy a tax on "Fangs", an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
Le Maire said: "I want to highlight that this is the first time in the history of relations between the U.S. and France that the American administration has chose to open a Section 301 procedure".More news: Minecraft Earth Gameplay Looks Adorable
Under the bill, tech companies with more than $844m in global annual revenue and more than $28m in French revenue will be required to pay a 3% tax on total annual revenue generated by providing services to French users.
An inquiry targeting Britain would further strain relations between Washington and London, which have been tested in recent days following the leak of United Kingdom diplomatic cables that were critical of President Donald Trump.
France failed to persuade European Union partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on tech giants, but is now pushing for an worldwide deal with the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Some experts fear France's unilateral approach with the digital tax will backfire, ultimately harming consumers and smaller businesses it aims to protect.More news: Google’s News tab gets a more transparent redesign
"We've got to find a way of taxing the internet giants on their income, because at the moment it is simply unfair", Johnson said earlier this month, according to Reuters.
Draft legislation introduced Thursday in the United Kingdom would impose a 2% tax on local revenue of large search companies, social media platforms and online marketplaces, starting in 2020.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement ahead of the adoption of the French law that Washington was "very concerned" it would "unfairly" target American companies.
Many global tech companies pay taxes in the countries where their headquarters are based, rather than where they generate sales. Tech companies like Amazon disputed France's tax on Thursday arguing for a multilateral approach instead. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is now reviewing steps to modernize the tax system for the digital economy but has said it won't reach a conclusion until 2020.More news: Widespread power outages hit parts of New York's Manhattan