The Trump administration is threatening to slap import taxes on $2.4bn worth of French goods, including cheese, champagne, make-up and handbags.
The planned tariffs come in response to a new French digital services tax that would affect companies including Google, Amazon and Facebook.
France, along with several other European countries, wants to limit the tech giants’ ability to avoid taxes.
But trade officials in Washington say US firms are being unfairly targeted.
French minister Bruno Le Maire called the US threat to impose tariffs in response to the tax “unacceptable” and suggested France would be prepared to retaliate.