The Latest: US still mulling retaliation for French tech tax

From left, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, World Bank President David Malpass, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Italian Economy and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria, Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Angel Gurria, Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director David Lipton pose for a group photo at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Melinda Gates, right, and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attend a meeting at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, left, talks to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a meeting at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, front center, stands next to Chief Executive of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva, front left, and Bank of France Deputy Governor Sylvie Goulard, front right, prior a group photo at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The Group of Seven rich democracies' top finance officials gathered Wednesday at a chateau near Paris in search of common ground on the threats posed by digital currencies. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau, from left, walk at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The Group of Seven rich democracies' top finance officials gathered Wednesday at a chateau near Paris in search of common ground on the threats posed by digital currencies. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, second left, talks to Chief Executive of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva, left, next to Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso, second right, and Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, right, prior a group photo at the G-7 Finance in Chantilly, north of Paris, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The Group of Seven rich democracies' top finance officials gathered Wednesday at a chateau near Paris in search of common ground on the threats posed by digital currencies. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

CHANTILLY, France — The Latest on the G-7 finance ministers' meeting (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the White House will press ahead with its investigation of France's digital tax, which is aimed at companies like Google and Amazon, as a possible unfair trade measure that could lead to retaliation.

Mnuchin made the comment at the Group of Seven finance ministers meeting Thursday in Chantilly, France. He said that work would continue on an internationally backed way to make sure tech companies pay their fair share of taxes: "We're going to run a two-tracked process."

France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that France wasn't yet ready to back off its 3% tax on digital revenues of large Internet-based firms, but could withdraw the national measure if an international solution is finally decided next year.

U.S. trade officials are looking into the tax as a possible discriminatory measure aimed at U.S. companies.

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12:05 p.m.

Top finance officials from the Group of Seven rich democracies are warning that cryptocurrencies like Facebook's Libra should not come into use before "serious regulatory and systemic concerns" are addressed. 

The chairman's concluding summary from the G-7 meeting in Chantilly, France, on Thursday says the officials "agreed" that so-called stablecoins - cryptocurrencies pegged to real currencies - will have to meet "the highest standards" of financial regulation to prevent money laundering or threats to the stability of the banking and financial system. 

The statement says ministers including French host Bruno Le Maire and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed that those concerns must be addressed "before such projects can be implemented."

The summary says that the seven countries also expect the outlines of a global agreement on taxing digital business by next January.

It said the agreement would allow companies to be taxed in countries where they have no physical presence, and provide for an arbitration forum.

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11:10 a.m.

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven rich democracies are sounding the alarm on the dangers of cryptocurrencies and pouring cold water on Facebook's Libra as they wrap up a meeting in Chantilly, France.

Officials from the U.S., France and others have sounded skeptical so far about Libra and cryptocurrencies, which are high on the two-day gathering's agenda.

Yet the meeting, which will set the stage for a summit of the G-7 heads of state and government in August, is also exposing differences on views on how to tax digital businesses. The U.S. and France in particular are at odds.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told his French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, that the U.S. government objects to Paris' plans to tax tech giants like Facebook and Google.

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