France says latest U.S. trade threats over digital tax a ‘contradiction’

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire leaves the Elysee Presidential Palace after a weekly cabinet meeting, in Paris, France May 27, 2020 as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized U.S. threats of trade sanctions over digital service taxes, which he said clashed with its calls for G7 unity on other issues.

Washington launched probes on Tuesday into digital services taxes being adopted or considered by Britain, Italy, Brazil and other countries, following an earlier investigation into France, in a move that could lead to new punitive tariffs.

“There’s a real contradiction between the United States’ call for unity within the G7, which we support, and the possibility of new trade sanctions,” Le Maire told his G7 counterparts on a conference call.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle