On Monday, the U.S government said it may slap punitive duties of up to 100% on $2.4 billion (1.9 billion pounds) of imports from France of champagne, handbags, cheese and other products, after concluding that France's new digital services tax would harm United States tech companies.
While insisting that a trade war is "not in anyone's interest", Le Maire said France talked this week with the European Commission about EU-wide retaliatory measures if Washington follows through with the tariffs next month.
The plan was announced by the USA trade representative (USTR) on Monday at the conclusion of an investigation into the French digital services tax, which has pitted Donald Trump against Emmanuel Macron, the French president, for months.More news: Rail Fares to Rise by 2.7% but Labour Promises Cuts
File photo of Bruno Le Maire, France's finance minister, July 18, 2019.
France's finance minister is threatening a "strong European riposte" if the Trump administration follows through on a proposal to hit French cheese, Champagne, handbags and other products with tariffs - of up to 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).More news: Flood rescuers killed in helicopter crash
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire branded the US threat unacceptable and said the French tax did not discriminate against American companies.
He later told a press conference: "We are not targeting any country".
It said the tax was "unusually burdensome" for USA companies including Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc. "The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of European Union member states, which unfairly targets US companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading US digital services companies".More news: Taylor Swift reflects on importance of 'ownership' amid Scooter Braun feud
Hermes was around 1.9 percent lower, while LVMH and Kering fell by 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.