The United States has already imposed 25pc duties on French wine and cheese as part of its WTO-sanctioned response to illegal European Union aircraft subsidies, a move exporters warned would penalise U.S. consumers while severely hurting French producers.
The tax applies only to companies with total annual revenues from the covered services of at least 750 million euros (830.36 million US dollars) globally and 25 million euros (27.68 million dollars) in France.
Trump has earlier criticised France for unfairly targeting USA companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple after France in July introduced an annual 3 per cent levy on companies with more than €750 million in revenue globally and more than €25 million in revenue in France.
Multinational companies including Google and Facebook have been criticised for paying very little tax in some countries despite booking large revenues due to the way profits can be reported in lower tax jurisdictions.
The Conservative Party has promised to incorporate a digital service tax on the revenue of companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon if it wins the national elections.
Washington originally pushed for the new global tax system to cover a wide range of companies, but officials say it has got cold feet in recent months after being lobbied by traditional companies that realized they would be hit, too.
Because French President Emmanuel Macron has already introduced a digital services tax, levied on the revenue of big worldwide tech firms.
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Visits have at times been refused amid broader tensions and two US ships were denied access in August. An extradition bill was introduced in Hong Kong in April, triggering the first round of protests.
The French government, which announced its law after an EU-wide proposal stalled, has said the tax will end if a similar measure is agreed internationally.
"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", USTR Robert Lighthizer said via a statement released on Monday.
Lighthizer also warned that the trade act may also be used to investigate similar taxes introduced by countries including Italy, Turkey, and Austria. Twitter, although I guess I do pretty well with Twitter [.] but they're our companies, they're American companies.
"If there are any new American sanctions, the European Union will be ready to hit back", Le Maire said. And we want to tax American companies.
The Trump administration said on Monday that it is looking at imposing additional tariffs on 2.4 billion dollars' worth of French imports.
"So we are taxing their wines and everything else, and we have a very, very big tax to put on them". Having used the World Trade Organization's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism alone in recent times, the USA, under the Trump administration, has brought the 301 back into use, launching a 2017 probe against China.
But despite Trump's repeated threats to retaliate against French wines, only sparkling wine like Champagne made the tariff list.