The European Union will answer US tariff threats against France "as one", EU Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said on Tuesday December 3rd, as reported by AFP.
"As in all other trade-related matters the EU will act and react as one and it will remain united," said Rosario after the United States on Monday threatened to impose 100% tariffs on $2.4 billion of imports from France, including champagne, handbags, cheese and other products in retaliation for what the US called “discriminatory” digital service tax.
The EU Commission, which deals with trade issues for the EU's 28 member states, was "coordinating closely with the French authorities on next steps", Rosario told reporters.
He also urged Washington to engage in dialogue, adding that the US had left many options open including taking the fight to the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
"We remain of the view that the WTO is the place to address any trade dispute (so) the EU will therefore seek immediate discussion with the US on how to solve this issue," Rosario said.
The EU confirmed it remained committed to finding a global deal on taxing the digital economy, a key point of the US dispute with France.
For its part, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has suggested initial proposals for a "unified approach" to taxing big tech worldwide, in an attempt to reach a deal next year.
The US Trade Representative's office said that the French tax proposal was "unusually burdensome for affected US companies," including Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.com.