The US is preparing tariffs on $2.4bn (£1.85bn) worth of French exports as retaliation against the country’s new digital services tax.
The top US trade official said the new tax, which France approved in July, unfairly targets American tech giants.
He said the tariff plans were intended to deter other countries from taking similar steps.
The items that could face tariffs include cheese, sparkling wine, make-up and handbags.
The decision “sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on US companies”, said US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.
Mr Lighthizer announced the potential tariffs, which will now enter a public comment period, at the end of his office’s investigation of the French tax.