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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this June 16, 2017 file photo, the Facebook booth is seen at the Vivatech, a gadgets show in Paris, France. France has adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite threats from the U.S. Just ahead of the vote Thursday, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said allies needed to settle differences "without using threats." (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

PARIS (AP) — France adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook on Thursday, despite U.S. threats of new tariffs on French imports.

The final vote in favor of the tax in the French Senate came hours after the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China’s technology policies, which led to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“Between allies, we can, and we should, solve our differences without using threats,” Bruno Le Maire said. “France is a sovereign country. It will make its own sovereign decisions on fiscal measures.”

The tax amounts to a 3 percent annual levy on the French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than $844 million and French revenue exceeding 25 million euros. The tax primarily targets those that use consumer data to sell online advertising.

“Each of us is seeing the emergence of economic giants with monopolistic attributes and who not only want to control a maximum amount of data and make money with this data, but also go further than that by, in the absence of rules, escaping taxes and putting into place instruments that could, tomorrow, become a sovereign currency,” Le Maire said.

The French Finance Ministry has estimated the tax would raise about $563 million at first — but predicted fast growth.

The tech industry is warning that consumers could pay more. U.S. companies affected included Airbnb and Uber as well as those from China and Europe.

The bill aims to stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax EU countries. Currently, the companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales like France.

France failed to persuade EU partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on tech giants, but is now pushing for an international deal with the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Another U.S. trade group, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, also said the French proposal discriminated against American companies.

The U.S. investigation got bipartisan support from the top members of the Senate Finance Committee. In a joint statement, Republican Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, committee chairman, and Democrat Ron Wyden, of Oregon said: “The digital services tax that France and other European countries are pursuing is clearly protectionist and unfairly targets American companies in a way that will cost U.S. jobs and harm American workers.”

Also on Thursday, Britain moved ahead with similar plans as the government published draft legislation for a “digital services tax.” Starting in April, search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces that “derive value from U.K. users” will be subject to a new 2 percent tax.

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