Bruno Le Maire, speaking to a French broadcaster, said he's convinced the European Union will not sit idly by if the Trump administration imposes retaliatory tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French exports.
These announcement, which comes after an adverse conclusion by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) following a trade practices investigation into France's Digital Services Tax (DST), could including champagne, porcelain and some cheeses.
The U.S. also criticized the French tax for targeting companies' revenue, not their profits, and for being retroactive. The tax imposes a 3 per cent annual levy on French revenues of any digital company with yearly global sales worth more than 750 million euros and French revenue exceeding 25 million euros.
The French tax is created to prevent tech companies from dodging taxes by putting headquarters in low-tax European Union countries.
But the USTR statement also comes in the same week as President Trump met President Macron during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit held in London on Tuesday December 3.
It applies to any digital company with revenue of more than €750m ($850m; £670m) - of which at least €25m is generated in France.
Bottles of French wine are displayed for sale in a liquor store on October 3, 2019 in Los Angeles.
"The United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on U.S. companies", Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said Monday.
The president added that the U.S. would prefer not to tax wine and other French products, but it would come down to both sides imposing tariffs on each other unless an agreement is worked out.
"On the digital services tax, I do think we need to look at the operation of the big digital companies and the huge revenues they have in this country and the amount of tax that they pay", Johnson said on Tuesday, according to a BBC report. I don't want France to be taxing American companies.
"We have the oil", Trump said over and over.
"Well, they are American companies".
However, the US Chamber of Commerce warned that the new set of tariffs "may elicit additional rounds of retaliatory measures that represent a substantial risk to US economic growth and job creation". They are not going to be taxed by France.
The U.S. trade agency said it would collect public comments through January 14 on its proposed tariff list as well as the option of imposing fees or restrictions on French services, with a public hearing scheduled for January 7.
But despite Trump's repeated threats to retaliate against French wines, only sparkling wine like Champagne made the tariff list.
But Trump never formally endorsed that deal and declined to say whether his French tariff threat was off the table.