The U.S. should not see a proposed European levy on internet giants as an attack against the country, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told CNBC on Saturday, while taking the opportunity to chide America on its trade war.
A European Commission proposal would impose a 3 percent tax on big companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, who derive a big chunk of their revenues from within the continent.
On Saturday, the French minister suggested that it was in fact America that had launched an attack on Europe, by adopting a more aggressive trade policy that targets European imports with tariffs.
"I had the impression that we are not the ones who attacked the United States," Le Maire told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick. "When you are looking at the trade situation, I have the impression that this is the United States that has decided to put tariffs on European goods, not the contrary."
He added: "I would like to also underline that fair taxation is not taxation against the United States. The purpose of that taxation is to have a fair and efficient taxation at an international level."
Le Maire, alongside German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, said in a statement on Saturday that he would propose a "sunset clause" to the planned EU tax on the digital turnover of big companies, in a bid to reach compromise with other European countries.