The USTR's report and proposed tariff list follow months of negotiations between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over a global overhaul of digital tax rules.
The US trade representative (USTR) said on Monday night, after completing an investigation, it found the French digital services tax unfairly discriminated against American technology companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
"USTR's decision today sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on USA companies", United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in the department statement.More news: Trudeau to meet with Trump Tuesday at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit
According to the USTR's notice of action against France's DST, written comments will be accepted for consideration until January 6, 2020, and a public hearing will take place the following day.
The French tax targets revenue instead of profits, which are often reported by tech giants in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland in a practice that has enraged governments. The new legislation imposes a 3% annual levy on French revenues of major companies, and applies retroactively, from the beginning of 2019.
The US move "sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on US companies", said trade representative Robert Lighthizer. It'll then accept post-hearing rebuttals by January 14.More news: NASA finds fallen India Chandrayaan2 Vikram lander
The proposed tariffs target French products across cheese, sparkling wine, perfume, handbags, yogurt, butter, beauty and makeup, manicure and pedicure, soap, porcelain, and bone china.
But Trump never formally endorsed that deal and declined to say whether his French tariff threat was off the table.
Last month, G20 ministers meeting in Washington opened talks on an worldwide system to tax global tech giants that the OECD hopes would take effect by June.More news: Red Wings lose big again, this time to Flyers 6-1