December 3, 2019 / 7:10 AM / 9 days ago

France will be 'pugnacious' over new U.S. tariff threat - minister

FILE PHOTO: Agnes Pannier-Runacher, French Economy Junior Minister, speaks during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - France will be “pugnacious” over the latest U.S. tariff threats on French products and will not go back on its digital tax plan, junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Tuesday.

On Monday, the U.S. government said it may slap punitive duties of up to 100% on $2.4 billion (1.9 billion pounds) of imports from France of champagne, handbags, cheese and other products, after concluding that France’s new digital services tax would harm U.S. tech companies.

“It is very clear that we do not need to go back on this, with regards to a topic that economically speaking makes sense,” Pannier-Runacher told Sud Radio, referring to the digital tax.

“We need to be pugnacious on the subject,” she added.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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