What you need to know

  • President Donald Trump is lanching a probe on an upcoming French tax upon American tech companies.
  • The new digital taxe affects companies that generated 740 million in revenue.
  • Among the companies affected by the tax are Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

U.S. president Donald Trump is set to order an investigation of an upcoming digital tax on technology companies by France, according to Bloomberg Tax. The move could lead to new tariffs or other trade restrictions against the country.

The announcement, which is set for around 5 p.m. (2100 GMT) Wednesday in Washington, will give U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer up to a year to investigate if France's digital-tax plan would hurt U.S. technology companies, the source said.

The "Section 301" investigation will determine if the levy poses an unfair trade practice. Prior investigations have covered Chinese trade practices and European Union subsidies on large commercial aircraft.

Most of the companies affected by this tax are those that generated over 740 million euros, or $845 million, in revenue will be American, including Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

France originally announced the tax back in December known as GAFA, for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Whatever conclusion the U.S. government ends up on, this could lead to another trade battle similar to what the U.S. is currently waging with China.