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French Senate approves tax as U.S. opens digital levy probe

France’s Senate gave final approval to a tax on big technology companies on Thursday, potentially opening up a new front in a trade row between Washington and the European Union. 

President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the tax, which could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions.

“Between allies, we can and should solve our disputes not by threats but through other ways,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told senators before the final vote.

The 3% levy will apply to revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than 25 million euros in French revenue and 750 million euros ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

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