In an unusual move that threatens to worsen trade tensions with Europe, the Trump administration said it will investigate whether a proposed French tax on tech companies discriminates against USA business, a step that could lead Washington to impose trade penalties.
This comes after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that he was launching an investigation into France's planned tax on tech giants. Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the president has authority to impose tariffs or take other restrictive measures if it's determined that a foreign country's trading rules are damaging to USA businesses.
France has pressed ahead with a pioneering new tax on tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook, despite USA threats of new tariffs on French imports.
He said in a statement that "the President has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce".
The measure is close to passing both houses of Parliament and could soon be signed by President Emmanuel Macron, who has voiced support for the tax.
Finance ministers and central bankers at a Group of Seven meeting in Chantilly, France next week will discuss worldwide taxation and competition and the digital economy.
The tax would affect companies with at least 750 million euros ($844m) in annual revenues and apply to revenue from digital business including online advertising.
The lawmakers included a suggestion to use a section of the tax code that would double the rate of US taxes on French citizens and companies in the U.S. The UK, Spain, Italy, and Austria are considering similar sales taxes, raising the question of how the United States will respond if they take effect.
The tech industry warns it could lead to higher costs for consumers.
The French government says the tax does not specifically target U.S. companies and will affect European and Asian firms as well.
"If these two criteria are not met, the taxes will not be imposed", Le Maire said.
Trump has also imposed new tariffs on imports of European Union steel and aluminum - and has threatened punitive duties on cars and auto parts if the two sides fail to reach an overall trade deal.
"Between allies we can and should solve our disputes not by threats but by other means", Le Maire told senators.
Amazon called the probe "an important step toward successfully addressing the poorly constructed, discriminatory French (tax), which if implemented, will cause significant harm to American and French consumers alike".
And we're guessing Prince Harry would not approve critics invoking his mother's name... "And I've never come across such secrecy". According to a source cited by People this week, "They are basking in the glow and enjoying each day".
Iglesias is known for his romantic ballads and a prolific love life that has always been fodder for tabloid headlines. Three were born out of his marriage to Isabel Preysler and five with his wife Miranda Rijnsburger.
Japan says the issue of forced labour was fully settled in 1965 when the neighbours restored diplomatic ties. POTENTIAL FOR RESOLVING THE ISSUES: Bridging the rift between the two countries appears to be a challenge.
Bordeaux have reportedly offered the centre-back a three-year deal, an offer he's said to be keen to take up. Unai Emery looks set to be without his captain for the start of the new Premier League season.
The game also suffers from the same free-to-play monetization excesses that Nintendo has used in its other mobile titles. It offers multiplayer modes and social media connectivity, allowing players to play with their friends.
In addition to characterizing the current administration as "dysfunctional", Darroch said the USA president "radiates insecurity". After lashing out at Darroch in a series of tweets over the past two days, Trump had yet to weigh in on Darroch's departure.
The VW Beetle is undoubtedly an iconic, and historic vehicle , having been part of a never-realized Nazi prestige project. While the third-generation model wasn't very popular, Volkswagen sold almost five million Beetles in the United States .
ET - and the best part is, Prime members can watch it right from your streaming device of choice (view deal here). That's where Swift comes into play, as she'll headline a concert exclusively for Amazon Prime members at 9 p.m.
Jadeja played an important role in giving India hope of progressing to the World Cup final, scoring 77 runs off 58 balls. The untimely run-out of Dhoni (50 off 72 balls) in the 49th over was the final nail in the coffin.
More than 20 killed in PNG tribal violence
Teens and pregnant women are among those murdered in a tribal bloodbath in Papua Recent Guinea's Highlands home. Hela provincial administrator William Bando told AFP on Wednesday that the death toll could rise.
Ross Perot Dies at 89 :: Politics :: Features :: Ross Perot
The Texas billionaire will be remembered for challenging the US political system by running for president twice as an independent. After his unsuccessful lobbying efforts, Perot chose to run for president, launching historical changes in third party politics.
Fed chairman hints at first interest rate cut in over a decade
Powell also says the Fed is coordinating with other regulators, such as the Treasury Department, and other central banks overseas. Trump's attacks have raised alarms that he is undermining the Fed's long-recognized independence from political pressure.
'Stranger Things' Monopoly game available for pre-order
Of course if you haven't seen Stranger Things 3 yet, you should know that the entire thing is a spoiler for the Season 3 finale. Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp believes his character Will Byers's sexuality is "up to the audience's interpretation".